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I 



ritO TEBTT 0» 

Man m 



i^lLt>>"'icilWTI A VH.|TAt 



— ^ 



The 



Life and Letters 



of 



Charles Samuel Keene 



by 



George Somes Layard. 



LONDON: 

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY, Limited. 

I^t Bun«tan'« Koutr, 
Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, E.C. 

1892. 



I ■■ > ; 

L43 



CHISWICK PRESS: — C. WHITTINGHAM AND CO.; TOOKS COURT, 

CHANCERY LANE, LONDON. 






\ 



V 






Co 



PROPERTY OF 







klft* fCIINTlA yB«.ITAS 




I cannot let this book go forth without acknowledging 
the kindness of Mr. Henry Eddowes Keene in reading 
through the manuscript with me for the purpose of 
correcting any errors of fact, as well as for the generous 
way in which he has placed at my disposal original 
sketches by his brother for reproduction in these pages. 
/ am also indebted, amongst others, to Afrs. Edwin 
Edwards, Mrs. Macdonald, Miss Stewart, Miss Jean 
Ingelow, Mr. Henry Silver, Air. Robert Dudley, Mr. 
Farrar Ranson, Air. Alexander Stevenson, Mr. John 
Clayton, Mr. W. P. Mills, Air. J. Sands, Mr. 
Holman Hunt, Mr. Tucr, Mr. Stacy Alarks, R.A., 
Air. Swain, and last, but most of all, to Mr. Joseph 
Crawhall,for letters, sketches, and notes, without which 
my task would have been impossible. To Messrs. 
Bradbury and Agnew, too, I would Iterc offer my best 
thanks for the unhesitating permission given to re- 



viii ^Preface. 

produce the ** Punch " pictures with which this book is 
adorned. To Messrs, McLcmillan and Co, also my 
thanks are due for raising no objection to the reproduc- 
tion of the origifial design for the Vignette of Mark 
Lenions ''Jest Book,'' and to Messrs. Elliott and Fry 
for their kind offer of the photograph of Charles Keene, 
which forms the frontispiece to this volume. To the 
publishers, too, I would te7ider my hearty thanks for 
the generous way i?t which they have fallen in with 
almost all my stiggestions to make this volume, as far 
as lay in their power^ worthy of its stibject. Any 
suggestions of 77iine that they have not adopted I am 
perjectly satisfied were wholly unreasonable. To Mr. 
Stuart J, Reid a7id Mr. C7red, as zuell as to those clever 
craftsme7i a7id pri7iters, whose 7ia77ies we do not learn, 
but to whose skilful labour we are all so 77iuch i7idebted, 
I must at least put on record a zuo7rd of thanks for 
their laborious cO'Ope7'atio7i, I do not hesitate to say 
that, to those who have 07ily had the opportunity of 
study i7ig Charles Kee7ies work i7i the pages of''Pu7tch'' 
or ** 07ice a IVeek," the illustratiofis i7i this book will 
be 7iothi7ig short of a revelatio7i. In so77ie ifista7ices, of 
course, pe7t'Work, 7wt do7ie for the pttrpose of typo- 
photographic reproductio7i, was boimd, especially in the 
shadows, to grow rotte7t and lose its character, but, 
in others, facsimilitude is so 7tearly attai7ted, that, 
even side by side, it is 7iot at once possible to tell the 
origi7ial fro77i its imitatio7i. 

One %vo7'd as to a very valuable siiggestio7i 77tade to 
me by Mr. Penfiell, but at so late a stage in the 
productio7i of this book that I have doubts of the 



Preface^ ix 

feasibility of carrying it out. Much has been written 
and said of the loss sustai^ied ifi the wood'Cutti7tg 
by Keenes pen-and-ink drawings, and Mr. Pennell 
suggests that the reproductions in this volume should 
be faced by the luooctcuts of the same pictures from 
^^ Punch,'' for comparison, and thus opportunity be 
afforded of jtidgi^ig to what extent this has been the 
case. If this ca7i be done at this late period, it shall^ 
but, if not, it is of course still co7npetent to all who 
have cucess to a file of '' Pu7ich'' to judge for them- 
selves.^ 

68, Palace Gardens Terrace, W. 
1892. 

' Since writing the above, the proprietors of " Punch " have again 
put me under an obligation by most generously lending me an electro- 
type of the beautiful woodcut " FonvardsJ*^ I have particularly 
requested the art manager to see that all possible pains be taken to 
give this block its full value in the priftting, and, by placing it and 
the photogravure face to face, to afford the opportunity desired of justly 
comparing their relative values. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
1823-1844- 
Birth.— Father-— Mother.— The Sparrows.— School in Queeo's 
Road. — The Corboulds, — Truants. — Ipswich. — Grammar 
School. — Old House in the Butter Market. — " The Sparrows' 
Nest." — Mr. Farrar Ranson. — Professor Cowell, — Major- 
General Mercer.— Character. — First artistic leanings. — Death, 
of father. — Great Coram Street. ^Choiceof profession. —Furni- 
val's Inn.^Mr, Pilkinglon, architect. — Apprenticeship to the 
Whympers. — " Robinson Crusoe."- — Letter, 1842. — George 
Ingelow. — Miss Ingelow. — Mr. Henry Silver. — Mr. W. L. 
Thomas. — Mr. Swain. — First Studio. — Dr. Dulcken. — Scene- 
painting wiih the late C. Marshall. —Smoking. — "Fairy 
Pipes." — "Dottles." — Letter, 1844 i 



CHAPTER II. 
1845—1850. 
Samuel Read. — " Illustrated London News." — Journalistic illus- 
tration. — " Artists' Society," Clipstone Street. — Tenniel, 
Lewis, Haag, Calderon, Poynter, Wells, etc.— Sketching Club. 
— Lack of appreciation by early associates. — Modesty. — 
" Graveur du XIX' i"rf.-/<-."— Haired of interviewers.- 
Poor estimate of his own critical faculty. — Ballad of the Royal 
Academy. — Opinion of Franco- Prussian War .... 33 



xii Cotitent0. 



CHAPTER III. 

1851— 1859. 

'Punch" Staff, 1851.— Louis Napoleon.— G?/// ^<?/a/.—" Patent 
Street-Sweeping Machine." — Keene's first appearance in 
** Punch." — Further Notes by Mr. Silver. — First signed Draw- 
ing. — Work for the Whympers. — " Book of German Songs." — 
German influence. — Dr. Dulcken. — Menzel. — Only an outside 
contributor to " Punch." — Tour in Brittany. — Leaves Strand 
Studio.— Clipstone Street Studio.—" Once a Week."—" A 
Good Fight." — " Evan Harrington." — Music. — " Jermyn 
Band." — " Leslie's Choir." — Mr. J. Heming. — Original sug- 
gestion to Mr. Birket Foster. — An Enthusiast. — The Volun- 
teer Movement. — " Drowning the Magazine " ... 44 

CHAPTER IV. 

i860 — 1864. 

First appearance at "The Table." — Mr. Spielmann's account of 
"Punch" Dinner. — Mr. Tenniel's account. — "The Voyage 
of the Constance." — " Sea Kings and Naval Heroes." — " The 
Cambridge Grisette." — " Eyebright." — Camping out. — Sailing. 
— Mr. Stacy Marks, R.A. — Position as artist now assured. — 
Leaves Clipstone Street Studio. — 55, Baker Street. — Love of 
exercise. — The Arts Club. — Dinner-party. — Death of Leech. 
— Keene's unconventionalism. — Food peculiarities. — Bouilla^ 
baisse, — " Cornhill Magazine." — " Legends of Number Nip." — 
Mark Lemon's *'Jest Book."— " Tracks for Tourists."— 
" Tempera " painting 72 

CHAPTER V. 

1864—1868. 

Keene as letter- writer. — " Parson Wilbur." — Mr. and Mrs. Edwin 
Edwards. — Nicknames. — Dunwich. — Letter, August 5, 1864. 
— Tigbourne Cottage. — Christmas Carols. — Letter, Jan. 26, 
1 865 . — " Caudle Lectures." — " Punch " Pocket-book. — His 
Etchings.— The Junior Etching Club.— "The Etcher."- 
"London Society." — Letter, Sep. 12, 1867. — Letter, Sep. 13, 



Contents. xiH 



1867. — Letter, Sep. 20, 1867. — Drawing direct from Nature. 
— His method. — Anecdote from Mrs. Edwards. — " La Chro- 
nique des Arts'' — The Sausage Machine. — The Type-writer 
and Mr. Tuer. — ** A Failure." — Mr. Heseltine's Porch. — Mr. 
Stewart 91 

CHAPTER VII. 

1869 — 1871. 

Bagpipes. — Letter, Oct. 26, 1869. — Mr. J. Sands. — His Reminis- 
cences of Keene. — Extracts from letter to Mr. Crawhall on 
Bagpipes. The Practice-stick. — Breton Bagpipe. — Northum- 
berland Pipe reeds. — The Beethoven of Bagpipers. — Dentistry 
and mouthpieces. — Enthusiastic Piper in Hyde Park. — Dr. 
Ellis, F.R.S. — Mr. A.J. Hipkins. — Experiments with Scheibler 
Tonometer. — The Stockhorn. — His godson a Piper. — Bagpipes 
at the Siamese Legation. — A Hoax. — Life at " Tig." — Letter, 
Jan. 9, 1869 120 

CHAPTER VII. 

1872 — 1874. 

Photography and wood-blocks. — How a " Punch " picture is pro- 
duced. — Mr. Tenniel's practice. — ** Formes." — "Overlays." — 
Keene's inks. — Perplexities of his translators. — Mr. Swain. — 
King James' sea-sickness. — Keene's hatred of pedantry. — 11, 
Queen^s Road West. — Mr. F. Wilfrid Lawson. — An ordinary 
working day. — Letter, October 3, 1873. — The Coquet. — Letter, 
November 11, 1873. — Letter, December 19, 1873. — Chodo- 
wiecki. — Menzel. — Letter, April 1874. — Letter, August 18, 
1874. — Letter, circa 1874. — The Stockhorn .... 140 

CHAPTER Vni. 

AS HUMOURIST. 

Exhibition at Fine Art Society, 1891. — A revelation. — Not a great 
humourist. — A great artist. — Comparison with Rowlandson, 
etc. — hsraconienr. — Quaintness. — Mr. Birket Foster. — Agood 
listener. — Mr. Robert Dudley. — Dancing in black gloves. — 



xiv Contents. 



As an actor. — His humour good-humoured. — One exception. 
— The Clergy. — Good stories. — Story of two curates. — Story 
of British farmer. — Story of Aberdonian. — Story of Mr. Oscar 
Wilde and Mr. Whistler. — Story of well-brought up child. — 
Earthworm joke. — Captain Robley, 91st Highlanders. — Appeal 
for subjects. — Story of Archdeacon Bouverie. — Mr. Farrar 
Ranson's story. — Mr. Stacy Mark's portrait by Keene in 
** Punch." — Story of Scotchman and asparagus. — Story of be- 
reaved husband. — Story of "spirits forward." — The schoolboy's 
suggestion. — Mr. Henr)' Silver. — Mr. Andrew Tuer. — Value of 
original drawings. — Keene's carelessness. — A misunderstand- 
ing. — Correspondence thereon. — A Bargain. — Fine quality of 
friendship. — Editorial risks. — A " Chestnut." — " The Family 
Herald." — Correspondence thereon. — An editorial shift. — 
" Cause and Effect." — Mr. Joseph Crawhall. — Keene's in- 
debtedness to him. — Description of his surroundings. — A 
generous controversy. — The '* Albums." — Mr. Crawhall's por- 
trait in " Punch." — Acknowledgments of help. — A revolver as 
wedding present. — Mr. Crawhall's father. — The printer's devil. 
— ** Editorial sapience." — " Comminatory." — ** 'Andicapped." 
— Keene's humour . . . . , 168 



CHAPTER IX. 

1874— 1878. 

Trip abroad. — Letter, Christmas Day. 1874. — His love of animals. 
— The Royston Crow. — A surgical operation. — The cacoethes 
co/ligendi. — Flint implements. — A characteristic note. — Fifteen 
shillings for an arrow-head. — A take-in. — A theorbo. — A 
** curling-pin." — De Loutherbourg. — Letter, April 23, 1875. — 
Letter, August 2 1, 1875. — A chess-player. — Problems. — Letter, 
May 1876. — A disagreeable occurrence. — Loss of Tigbourne 
Cottage. — Visits to Mr. Birket Foster. — The Macdonalds of 
Kepplestone. — "Fly Leaves." — Letter, July 13, 1877.— Mr. 
Stacy Marks' prophecy. — Letter, August 6, 1877. — Lawn 
tennis. — Letter, August 27, 1877. — Bagpipe contest. — Letter, 
October 6, 1877. — Letter, November 9, 1877. — Member of 
"The Anti-Restoration Society." — Hatred of "quacksalvers." 
— Letter, undated. —Letter, March 30, 1878. — Mr. Cra>vhairs 



Contenw^ xv 



"Pots." — An unfortunate mistake. — Letter, May 24, 1878. — 
A Book-reader as well as Book-collector. — A Tory amongst 
Whigs. — Mr. Anstey-Guthrie. — A pet scheme. — Letter, August 
16, 1878. — Letter, August 20, 1878. — Keene as Cartoonist. 
— Letter, September 28, 1878. — Letter, November 2, 1878. — 
Letter, December 16, 1878 206 



CHAPTER X, 

1879— 1882. 

Removal from Queen's Road to 239, King's Road, Chelsea. — Mr. 
Dudley's account. — Letter, July 26, 1879. — Letter, November 
23, 1879. — Letter, December 5, 1879. — Edition de Luxe of 
Thackeray's Works. — Illustrations to " Roundabout Papers." 
— Edward Fitzgerald. — Portraits of Thackeray. — ^^ La Vie 
AfoderneP — Letter, May 16, 1880. — Letter, July 16, 1880. — 
** Border Notes and Mixty-Maxty." — Death of Keene's mother. 
— Letter, June 19, 1881. — His love of young people. — A 
useful hack- waltzer. — Fancy dress. — Letter, August 6, 1881. — 
Keene's portrait by Sir George Reid. — Letter, October 20, 
1881. — "Our People." — Undated letter to Mr. Tuer. — Miss 
Jean Ingelow's recollections. — Keene's appearance in later 
years. — Mr. Mills. — ** Just like a lord." — Letter, June 10, 1882. 
— Letter, June 24, 1882. — Letter, October 12, 1882. . 287 

CHAPTER XL 

1883— 1886. 

Artistic apj)robation. — Bewick. --Haydon. — Whistler. — Menzel. — 
Verestschagen. — Fantin. — Millais. — Letter, April 13, 1883. — 
Letter, July 14, 1883. — Letter, October 6, 1883. — Keene 
and his editors. — A '* Punch '' picture rejected. — Golf. — 
Mr. Harral. — First, symptoms of illness. — Charge of penu- 
riousness.-— His generosity. — The Southwold Ferryman. — Mr. 
G. H. Haydon. — Frugality. — " Robert." — Letter, August 2, 
1884. — Letter, February 20, 1886. — Letter, February 27, 1886. 
— Letter, April 4, 1886. — Letter, April 9, 1886. — Letter, April 
25, i886.--Keene and tiie Royal Academy. — Mrs. I^angtry. — 
At the R.A. dinner. — "Mr. Punch" has to explain a joke. — 

b 



xvi Content0» 



Mr. John Clayton and the 'bus conductor. — " What's the good 
o' the W? " — Too good a joke for the public. — " Philological." 
— ** To Everybody." — "Punch" oflfers a prize. — Keene explains 
to Mr. Tuer. — Mr. Tuer suggests an amendment. — ** Punch " 
brazens it out 342 

CHAPTER XII. 

1887 and 1888. 

Mr. Tuer*s note-paper. — Stipply appearance in "Punch " drawings. 
— The "recorder" and penny whistle. — Royal Society of 
British Artists. — Royal Society of Painters in Water-colours. — 
" Leaves of Parnassus." — Letter, April 9, 1887. — Letter, June 
II, 1887. — Letter, July i, 1887 — Letter, August 19, 1887. — 
Letter, September 13, 18^7. — Keene no sportsman. — An 
amusing dilemma. — Letter, September, 1887. — Letter, October 
I, 1887. — Letter, October 22, 1887. — " King James's Wedding, 
andotherRhymes." — Against the Tory grain. — Letter, February 
18, 1888. — Letter, June 12, 1888. — Letter, June 14, 1888. 375 

CHAPTER XIII. 

1889— 1891. 

Rheumatism and dyspepsia. — Horror of tobacco. — Courage under 
suffering. — Gives up Chelsea studio. — His accumulated *' Ket." 
— "The Daily Graphic." — A ray of hope. — Letter. December 
16, 1889. — Tobacco-phobia gone. — Letter, January 11, 1890. 
— Letter, March 22, 1890. — "An ominous and disheartening 
symptom." — Letter, August 8, 1890. — Letter, August 29, 
1890. — Visits of friends. — A dozen black puddings. — Letter 
(undated) to Sir John Millais. — Mr. Holnian Hunt's account 
of his visit — " Excuse a dying man." — Letter, November 26, 
1891. — "An unconscionable longtime a-dying " — " Smashing 
attacks." — The last letter. — Death. — A solemn requiem. 404 

CHAPTER XIV. 

LAST WORDS. 

No apology needed.— Of biographers. — A biography, not a 
memoir.— Its scope.— No complete bibliography.— Mr. W. 



Con ten w. xvH 



L. Thomas. — The illustrated annuals. — Mr. HoUoway's letter 
to "The Times."—** Round the table.''— The sacrilege of 
indecency. — " A bow be it." — Horror of shaking hands. — Bogus 
plum-cake. — Stealing a march on Mr. Holman Hunt. — Estimate 
of contemporaries. — Mr. Tenniel. — Sir F. Leighton. — **A 
great but unknown artist." — Across the Channel, a chorus of 
praise. — The end 430 

APPENDICES. 

Appendix A. — Tales, poems, etc., Illustrated by C. K. in ** Once 
a Week." 445 

Appendix B. — List of Translations by Charles Keene of First 
Thoughts and Original Sketches by Joseph Crawhall, with 
Dates of their Appearance in the Pages of " Punch." . 446 

Appendix C. — From the ** Journal of the Society of Arts," March 
27, 1885, pp. 498-9. Dr. A. J. Ellis's Lecture "On the 
Musical Scales of various Nations.'' 452 

Index 457 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Charles S. Keene. . frontispiece 

Headpiece to Preface 

"Please, Parson, Mother wants some Soup" . 

X AlL>r I EiV^ISf ••*•••••• 

X A 1 L r 1 1!> v> b •••••«••• 

A Crossing Sweeper 

Charles Keene, aged 9 

REPRODUCnON FROM A PrOOF OF Mr. CoOPER'S 

Wood Block for the ** Robinson Crusoe" . 
Studies for Illustrations to **Robinson Crusoe" face 
A Sleeping Man . 

A Sleeping Man 

Keene*s Studio in the Strand .... face 

Fisher Boys 

A Woman in a Mob Cap face 

Tailpiece 

Stages of Development of a ** PuxNch " Picture 
Study for the "Punch" Picture "Veneration" 
Front Door of the White Cottage . . . face 
Study for a "Once a Week" Iliisikation 
Particular to a Hair ....... 

An Irish Jehu 

Sketches of Charles Kekne on board the 
"William and Mary," by .\Ih. H. S. Marks, 
R.A. (i860) ....... face 

A Rustic ......... 



PAGE 

• • 

VII 
X 

xviii 
xxii 

3 

7 

II 
12 
16 

17 

23 

2ir 

37 

43 
46 

57 

59 

63 
69 

71 



78 



XX 



%\Qt of Jllueitrariotiflf. 



PAGE 

First Design for Vignette to Mark Lemon's 

Jest Book /ac^ 89 

Tailpiece 90 

Study for Frontispiece to the "Caudle Lectures" 103 
SoNNiNG Bridge and Church .... /ace 
Vide Letter to Mr. Tuer as to Typewriter 
Sketch of Himself in lieu of Signature to a Letter 

Tailpiece 

Keene's Portrait of Himself in "Punch" 

. face 



no 
116 
118 
119 



Picture . 
A Shepherd . 
A Village Hampden 
Tailpiece, "Dies Irve'' 
Forwards. Two plates 
Study for a " Punch " Picture 
Study for a " Punch " Picture 

I\. x^OCK . . . . • 

An Outside Car . 

More "Revenge for the Union" . . . . 

Charles Keene. From a photograph . . face 

Portrait of Mr. Stacy Marks, R.A., in "Punch" . 



. face 



"A Treacherous Confederate" . 

A " Suggestion " by Mr. Crawhall 

" A Modern Athenian " 

Lapsus Linguae 

Tailpiece 

Study of Trees 

A Scavenger. In the City 

An Ostler 

A Seaside 

From the Oil Painting 

A Pleasant Prospect 

The News. From the original water-colour 

A Fireside Reverie 

Preliminary Study for 

Grief 



124 

. 131 

. 134 

. 139 

betiveen pp. 142 and 143 

. face 152 

. 157 

163 

167 

170 

175 
181 

face 187 

. 194 

• 195 

• 199 
. 205 

face 208 

face 220 

. 228 

• 233 
23» 
245 

253 

261 

. 261 
face 271 



by Sir George Reid, P.R.S.A. 

. face 
. face 
. face 

'*A Fireside Reverie". 



%ifit of 3|llu0tration0. 



XXI 



Girl's Head /ace 

A Rustic Suitor 

Study of Heads /ace 

Study for one of the Portraits of Thackeray 
IN THE " Edition de Luxe " of the Novelist's 



page 
279 

288 
295 



Works 


• 


• 


• • 


. /ace 


305 


A North Briton 


• • 


312 


** Between Two Shoeblacks we Fall," &c. . 


. /ace 


323 


A Crying Child 


m • 


335 


A Rejected Contribution to "Punch" 


. /ace 


351 


Portrait of the old Southwold Pensioner . 


. /ace 


354 


Portrait of Himself, in lieu of Letter to Mr. ] 


Mills 


356 


A Letter Writer 


> /ace 


366 


Tailpiece 






• • ( 


1 « 


374 


A Hunter 






» • 


• • 


377 


Bumble .... 






• • 


. /ace 


384 


Irish Ingenuity' 






• fl 


• 


395 


Tailpiece 






■ • i 


* • 


403 


Study of a Tree . 






• * 


* • 


405 


*Arry on the Boulevards 






* • « 


/ace 


418 


A Countryman 




• 


• • 


, /ace 


429 


Carriage Horses 






t • 4 




433 


A Doze . . . 






« • 




441 


Tailpiece .... 






• m 




444 


Tailpiece .... 






• • 




456 


Headpiece to Index 






• • 




457 


Tailpiece .... 






• • 




463 



THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF 

Ctiatles Siamuel Mttnt, 



CHAPTER I. 

1823— 1844. 

Birth.— Father. — Mother, — The Sparrows. — School in Queen's 
Road. — The Corboulds. — Truants.— Ipswich. — Grammar School. 
— Old House in the Butter Market.— "The Sparrows' Nest." — 
Mr. Farrar Ranson. — Professor Cowell. — Major-Gencral Mercer. 
—Character. — First artistic leanings. — Death of father. — Great 
Coram Street, — Choice of profession. — Fumival's Inn. — Mr. PiU 
kington, architect. — Apprenticeship to the Whympers.— " Robin- 
son Cnisoc." — Letter, 1842. — George Ingelow. — Miss Jngelow. — 
Mr. Henry Silver.— Mr. W. L. Thomas.— Mr. Swain.— First 
Studio. — Dr. Dulcken,— Scene-painting wilh the late C. Marshall, 
— Smoking.— " Fairy Pipes." — "Dottles." — Letter, 1844. 

Charles samuel keene was 

born in Duval's Lane, Hornsey, on 
August 10, 1823. His father, Samuel 
Browne Keene, solicitor, of Furnival's 
Inn, was the second son of a lawyer, and succeeded 
to the paternal business. The elder brother, William 
Charles Lever Keene, was called to the bar, and 
reached some eminence in his profession. Keene's 




C|iarle0 Heene 



grandfather would seem to have been a man of con- 
siderable means, having educated both his sons at 
Eton. His father died on January 3, 1838, and was 
buried in St. Lawrence's Church, Ipswich. 

His mother was Mary Sparrow, daughter of John 
Sparrow, of the Butter Market, Ipswich. She w^as 
the youngest of a family of two sons and four 
daughters, "one," as Mr. Farrar Ranson writes, *' I 
remember, of a very handsome set of sisters." The 
Sparrows, or Sparrowes, as they formerly spelled 
their name, were, for over three hundred years, a 
leading family of the old town. From the year 1567 
they inhabited the grand old mansion in the Butter 
Market, now a bookseller s shop, and one of the 
greatest architectural curiosities in the country. 

Samuel and Mary Keene had, besides Charles 
Samuel, one son, Henry Eddowes Keene, and three 
daughters, Mary Grace Keene (now Mrs. Alfred 
Corbould), Anne Sparrow Keene, and Kate Lever 
Keene. Soon after the birth of Charles, their eldest, 
they removed from Hornsey, then a rural suburb of 
London, to a house in Margaret Street, Cavendish 
Square, W., and subsequently to Great Coram 
Street, a neighbourhood remarkable as having 
housed the three greatest of ** Punch's" contributors — 
Thackeray, Leech, and the subject of this memoir. 
Of Charles's early years there is little to be recorded. 
About the year 1830 he, with his younger brother, 
was put to a boarding-school in the Queen's Road, 
Bayswater, then as much in the country as it is now 
in the town. This school was kept by two old 



&cliool 9>a;0 



ladies named Johnson, known respectively as " the 
big" and " the little," the former coming in, it is re- 
corded, for considerable ridicule behind her back, for 




I CROSSING SWEEPER. 



the extraordinary turban which she was in the habit 
of wearing. Here it was that a friendship was com- 
menced between the Keenes and Alfred and Henry 
Corbould, the former of whom was destined in 1848 



Ct)arle0 Ifteene 



to marry the eldest Miss Keene. These two boys 
were sons of Henry Corbould, who held an appoint- 
ment in the Artistic Department of the British 
Museum. The head of the educational establish- 
ment, where this friendship was first struck up, would 
seem to have resorted to all the time-honoured 
means of catching scholars in flagrant delict — as, for 
example, departure from the room • and down the 
stairs with heavy and perceptible footsteps, followed 
on the instant by a tip-toe unperceived return to the 
hinder side of the door. '* I say," it would be 
whispered, ** now Old Johnson's gone, let's do this^ 
that, or the other," to which there would come the 
startling and chilling response — ** But supposing 
* Old Johnson ' has come back again ? " and it would 
become evident that the turban had that time scored 
a point. But even her vigilance was on occasion 
evaded. There are vivid recollections of three 
small runaway boys — Charles, Henry, and their 
friend Alfred — escaped from school for one whole 
glorious day, with pocket-money lavished on a 
dinner of steak and vinegar, and a whip of workable 
proportions. Communication affected at once by the 
lady-principal with the parents in Great Coram Street, 
but without result, until a voluntary return was made 
towards evening ; and then the glory of a day 
quenched in tears, as one by one they discovered 
the very workable proportions of their own lash — 

" For 'tis the sport to have the engineer 
Hoist with his own petard." 

Shortly before the death of Keene's father the 



JLltt at Jpfittofcl) 5 



family removed to Ipswich, and Charles and Henry 
were sent to the Grammar School, then under the 
head-mastership of the Rev. J. Ebden. The school 
was in those days situated in Foundation Street, and 
was carried on in the ancient refectory of the Black 
Friars, a very different structure to the smart modern 
buildings in the Henley Road. Tradition still sur- 
vives of a great pugilistic battle between Charles 
and a schoolfellow, in which, I am glad to say, justice 
does not compel me to admit that our hero was 
worsted. At this time it was, no doubt, surrounded 
by Suffolk relations, and having the run of the 
beautiful old family house in the Butter Market, 
about which clung the traditions of three hundred 
years of unbroken residence — the old house with the 
secret room, ingeniously concealed by a sliding 
panel, which had been fitted up as a private chapel or 
oratory, and in which it is handed down that Charles 
II. w^as concealed after the battle of Worcester — that 
his namesake first imbibed that love of ancientry — 
not, I think, of the snobbish sort— and, more espe- 
cially, that love of all things East Anglian, which made 
him always bitterly regret that he had been born in 
suburban Hornsey. He always considered, and in- 
deed spoke of himself, as an Eastern Counties man, 
and nothing pleased him less than to be writ down 
cockney with Hogarth and Cruikshank. A picture 
of this beautiful old house, engraved after a drawing 
by Mr. William Sparrow,^ may be seen in **The 
History and Description of the Town and Borough 
' An uncle of the subject of this memoir. 



Cl^arlest Tkttnz 



of Ipswich," printed and published at Ipswich by 
S. Piper, about the year 1830; and another very 
beautiful one in " Excursions through Suffolk," 
published in the year 1818. 

In those days the house was full of family portraits, 
and the vault in the church of St. Lawrence, in 
which parish it was situated, was full of Sparrows 
dead and gone. Nidus Passerum, ** The Sparrows' 
Nest,'* is the charming conceit inscribed over this 
their last resting-place ; and the same name is 
borne by an old mansion in the parish of Whitton, 
built by a Sparrowe in the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century, the name naturally lending itself to 
humorous application. There are indeed those still 
living who can recollect a spiteful sermon being 
preached at a member of the family from the text 
** Ye are of more value than many sparrows ! " 

Mr. Farrar Ranson, late Mayor of Norwich, well 
remembers the Keenes at this period — both most 
gentlemanly lads, Charles always quiet and thought- 
ful. Many a holiday ramble these three boys took 
together; different from all other boys in the 
town, in that they wore ** shiny black leather- 
topped caps with peaks." Young Ranson would 
bring his pony on which to ride and tye, and 
vivid is his recollection of the Keenes' long legs 
dangling down, sometimes two, sometimes all four 
at once, from the pony's devoted back. 

As to Charles's appearance. Professor Cowell, who 
was a Grammar School boy with the Keenes, writes : 
** I have a distinct remembrance of his striking face. 



t^ecgonal SIppeacance 



almost girlish at that time in its extreme delicacy cf 
feature." This description supports the tradition 
that his nickname amongst his schoolfellows was 
" Miss Keene." And further, his sister tells me of 
Charles and a boy cousin, both slim, delicate-featured 
lads, dressing up as maid- servants, and applying to 
Mrs. Keene for a do- 
mestic situation, with the 
result that one of them 
— which, history does 
not relate — was actually 
engaged for the place ! 
Major- General Mercer 
also writes to me : 
" Charles Keene and I 
were in the same class 
at the Grammar School 
at Ipswich in 1836-7. 
and the friendship which 
was there formed lasted 
for many years. H e 
was always of a gentle 

disposition, and even as a boy affected the little 
refinements and courtesies of society, which he 
derived from a graceful and highly cultivated 
mother. Her tender heart, and tall, dignified figure, 
left an impression on my youthful mind which was 
never effaced." 

At this period he seems to have shown a distinct 
inclination towards that art which was destined to 
render his name famous, although it must be con- 




CHARLES KEF.NK, A(;ED 9. 
From a Drawing by S. Read. 



8 Cijarled l&eene 



fessed that the idle embellishments of his school- 
books show no traces of any precocious talent. 
However, the disposition was there shown in his 
Odyssey towards the pictorial representation of 
Homeric deeds ; and, as Professor Cowell writes 
further : " I well remember he was passionately fond 
of drawing. He used to astonish me by the charm- 
ing pencil and pen-and-ink sketches which he could 
dash off in a moment — girls* heads, farm scenes, or 
caricatures.*' The reserve which characterized 
Keene in after life was remarkable also in his youth. 
It was from the first an inherent peculiarity, and not, 
as is so often the case, the result of an impaired 
or disordered constitution. Notwithstanding this 
characteristic however, which was probably the out- 
come of modesty, certainly not of sullenness, we 
find in boyish years as well as in manhood an ever- 
ready inclination for a bit of fun. There are visions 
now of a long-legged schoolboy executing a waltz 
with servant Susan in the Ipswich nursery, to the 
uncertain accompaniment of a hand-organ turned 
with might and main by the baby sister, perched 
upon the summit of an old press. 

In 1838 Charles's father died, and in the autumn 
of 1839 the widow returned to London to the house 
in Great Coram Street. This move was prompted 
by the desire to carry out her husband s express wish 
that Charles should be placed with his late partner 
in Furnival's Inn, with a view to his taking up law 
as his profession in life. A letter written by Mrs. 
Keene about this period makes the following allusion 



(Carl? SDratofngd 



to his character : " I hope you will come," she writes, 
" and see us. You will find your friends much 
grown, and my dear Charles, tho' a very steady 
youth, as addicted to fun as ever." 

In 1840 he entered the office, but from the first, 
tradition says, he showed far more industry in the 
illustration of his blotting-pad than in his study of 
legal precedents. Indeed, now in his seventeenth 
year, so evident was the direction in which his taste 
lay, that his mother, with an unusual wisdom, deter- 
mined to seize the very first opportunity of finding 
him more congenial occupation. An opportunity 
soon presented itself, and he was removed from 
Furnivars Inn and placed in the office of a Mr. 
Pilkington, an architect, carrying on business in 
Scotland Yard. Here he became a great favourite, 
and found the work somewhat more congenial, but 
still it was only a step in the right direction. He 
had not yet got on to the track which he was to tread 
with such unerring certainty to an undying fame. 

Out of office hours he occupied himself with figure 
drawing, executing mainly small subjects of an 
historical or nautical description in water-colour. 
For these his mother showed great appreciation, and 
declared that they had a saleable value ; but he, like 
Fred Walker, modest almost to diffidence when his 
work was in question, pooh-poohed as absurd the idea 
of seeking a market. His mother, however, not to be 
turned from her opinion, carefully collected these 
unconsidered trifles, and, as Charles would take no 
steps in the matter, boldly took them off herself to 



lo Ctarled Beene 



try what fortune might await them in Paternoster 
Row. At first her efforts were unsuccessful, but 
she, strong in the strength of a mother's admiration, 
and with an energy which characterized her through 
life, persisted, and was at last rewarded by the dis- 
covery of a purchaser, who requested that any further 
productions might be submitted to him, as he was 
disposed to treat for more. The price of course was 
small enough, but we can imagine with what a glow 
of pride and triumph at her heart Mrs. Keene 
returned, and handed over to her son the first few 
coins that he had himself earned for pocket-money. 
Stimulated to further exertion by his success, Charles 
continued some time to turn out a reguJar supply ; 
and well it was that he did so, for it was through 
them that he got his foot upon the ladder which was 
to raise him to be the supreme English exponent of 
Black-and- White Art; and, like many another man, 
he had to thank a good mother for the start he got. 

A stranger was seated in the dealer s shop one day 
when a batch of the drawings was brought in. He 
turned them over carelessly, then with more attention, 
and finally closely examined them. Finding them 
much to his liking, he made inquiries as to the artist. 
This led to Charles's introduction to one of the 
Whympers, a member of the well-known Lambeth 
firm of wood-engravers, who proposed that he 
should throw up his work at Scotland Yard and be 
bound to them as apprentice. This was finally 
agreed to, and under them it was that Charles 
Keene, like Fred Walker, acquired his knowledge 



jFfcscc Mloobciita 



of the technique of wood-engraving. The Whym- 
pers were two brothers whose business consisted in 
the ilhistration of books sent by publishers to them 
for that purpose. They employed a large number 




REPRODUCTION FROM A PROOF OF MR. COOPER'S WOOD BLOCK 
FOR THE "ROBINSON CRUSOK.' 



of apprentices to draw designs upon the wood, and 
Charles Keene was bound to them for five years in 
this capacity, as " the inimitable George" and H. K. 
Browne had been before him to William Finden. 
During three years much work must have been 



12 C^ade0 Heene 



done of which no record is to be found, — work 
probably more or less of a perfunctory and irksome 
character, but work which strengthened his capacity 
for taking infinite pains, which in after years so 
essentially characterized his genius. He early 
learned the supreme lesson that the only royal 
road to proficiency is laborious and painful exertion. 
Fortunately for us a specimen of his work at this 
period is preserved in the shape of several studies for 
an illustrated edition of *' Robinson Crusoe," and a 
proof of one of the completed woodcuts is now in 
the possession of his brother. This block bears the 
signature ** C. Keene," cut on the margin. Whether 
these illustrations were ever published I have been 
unable to discover, although there can, I think, be 
little doubt about it, but no trace of the edition has 
been found in the British Museum. 

The following letter, written in 1842, will be read 
with interest, as being the earliest epistolary pro- 
duction which has come to hand. It cannot, how- 
ever, be said to give much promise of the delightful 
style which was developed in later years. 

To T. IV. Mercer, Esq} 
" [1842.] " Sunday evening. 

** My dear Mercer, 

'* I cannot express in words how far it is from 
my wishes to damp or slight in any way the kind feel- 
ings of my friends, and how near the desire is to my 

^ Now General Mercer. 



\ ! 1 



r ■ • 



Heme to (Beneral Amercer 13 



heart of retaining the esteem of yourself, and the few 
others, firm, enduring, and lasting for ever and aye, 
but I am afraid I do not go the right way to work, 
and that there is in my constitution such a tendency 
to carelessness and inactivity, as to render this latter 
feeling suspicious and equivocal to those to whom I 
should the least wish it to be so. Having said this, 
might I, encouraged by the mild tenour of your 
expostulation, ask you not again to doubt the fidelity 
of my friendship from an occasional delay of letters 
{mirabantur impudentiam stiam). It is a modest 
request certainly, and I hope it is not one you 
will ever be required to grant. I have in fact 
been so busy lately, that weeks have flown away 
most mar/ellously, and, when I think of the arrears 
I have to make up of correspondence to my friends, 
I am very nearly appalled, and I have to summon 
all my strength of mind to look my difficulties calmly 
in the face. I wish you were here to spend the day 
with me, for a day's absence from business is such an 
unusual thing with me, I scarcely know what to do 
with myself. I have been on the sick list lately, but 
am quite recovered at last, and, on the strength of 
my medical man's telling me he thought I worked 
too hard, I mean to relax a little for a short time and 
to be as jolly as I can. Dick Mayhew is coming up 
in a week or so, and I anticipate having some sprees 
with him. I am going to Drury Lane Theatre some 
night this week, to see Macready personate Macbeth, 
and which he performs splendidly. Lady Mac. is 
taken by Mrs. Warner, whom perhaps you have 



14 C^arle0 %ttnt 



heard of. She is a first-rate actress, and the above 
is her best character. I wish you were in town to 
go with me. I hope you will be able to go to the 
Royal Academy Exhibition with me. You know, 
amongst us artists, this is an event always anxiously 
looked for. Did you hear of the Buckhounds 
running the stag into the Regent s Park the other 
day ? It created quite a sensation in the romantic 
districts of Tottenham Court and the New Road. 
What shocking accounts from India! The regiment 
of Rifles that suffered I think young Harry Lumley 
belongs to. There is going to be an increase of the 
army and other terrible preparations to * serve out * 
those niggers withal. That Shah Soojah seems 
to be a queer customer. Did not he once put his 
wife's eyes out ? I dreamed a dream the other 
night. I was wandering about the fields, shady lanes, 
with yourself and a host of females, ladies. We were 
somehow or other characters in one of Shakespeare's 
plays, I do not know which. It was a magnificent 
illusion. I have not been to a dance for a long time ; 
no doubt you have been enjoying yourself. What a 
shocking thing that suicide of the Earl of Munster ! 
I hope you will excuse this stupid scrawl, but I have 
so little to say that can be comfortably said in 
a letter, that I am unable to write a decent letter to 
any body. Do write and tell me when you are 
coming up. I hope we shall be able to pass more 
time together than we hitherto have done, and there- 
fore, dear Nick, don t call me too many names if I 
conclude now, but if I can find anything to say I w^ill 



(0eorffe Ungeloto 15 



write you again. Will you remember me to your 
circle at home, and believe me ever, 

" Yours truly, 

** Charles Keene. 

'' P. S. — Excuse all bad spellings, blots, and 
erasures. Have you done with the comic Latin 
Grammar ? Vale!\ 

During the first years of work in the Whympers* 
studio Keene was living in the old home. No. 7, 
Great Coram Street ; but a year or two before his 
apprenticeship was served, his mother removed with 
the rest of her children to Lewisham, and he went 
into lodgings in Great Ormond Street. These 
rooms were shared with an old Ipswich schoolfellow, 
the late George Ingelow, himself an accomplished 
artist, and brother of the well-known poetess. They 
resided together until 1845, when the latter obtained 
an appointment in India. Of their subsequent in- 
timacy Miss Ingelow writes: "After my brother 
went to India, they used to correspond. . . . Charles 
Keene used for some time to illustrate those letters 
all over, both inside and out, but that had afterwards 
to be given up, for it was found that some of them 
were stolen in the post for the sake of these illustra- 
tions and characteristic sketches.*' ^ 

His term of apprenticeship to the Whympers over, 
Keene, finding it necessary to have a regular studio 

^ Some of Mr. Ingelow's Indian sketches were, at Keene's 
instigation, reproduced in the "Illustrated London News." It 
is grievous to relate that C. K.'s letters above mentioned were 
destroyed. 



i6 C^arUd T&ttnt 



in which he could work more conveniently, hired the 
attic floor of an old house in the Strand, a ramshackle 
place to which he became much attached, and stuck 




I SLEEPING MAN. 



to until it became even too dirty and dilapidated for 
him — for we shall find that Keene, all through his 
life, was very much at peace with dust and cobwebs. 



fetranb &nili[o 



The exact period during which he occupied this 
room is not discoverable, but it is certain that he was' 
there in the latter part of 1852, for his sisters well 




I SLEEPING MAN. 



remember witnessing the funeral procession of the 
Duke of Wellington from its windows. At that time 
it must have been in a very ricketty condition, for 



i8 Cljarled l&eene 



there was much alarm lest the inmates of the Holy- 
well Street houses, who had scaled, and established 
themselves on, the roof, should become involuntary 
and sudden visitors through the treacherous rafters. 
It was approached by a decaying staircase wholly 
without light, and only those who were thoroughly 
familiar with its twists and turnings could hope 
to arrive with unbroken heads or shins at their 
destination. The only safe way was to whistle 
loudly at the bottom for Keene to open his door, 
from which a faint light would issue. A favourite 
resort of his friends, many now look back over forty 
years regretfully at the never-to-be-repeated chatting 
and singing and smoking in those romantic Bohemian 
surroundings. It now stands but the corpse of a 
house in a winding-sheet of advertisements, only 
waiting its removal for the widening of the Strand. 

It was about thi^ time that he made the acquaint- 
ance of one whose friendship was destined to have 
a marked influence upon his future, a gentleman 
through whose instrumentality he was to become 
first associated with '' Punch." I cannot do better 
than give, although at the risk of slightly anticipating, 
the early history of their acquaintance in Mr. Henry 
Silver s own words : ** My friendship with Charles 
Keene began before the * Fifties,' and ceased only 
at his death. It lasted more than forty years, and 
I cannot recollect that it was ever interrupted. He 
was far too good a fellow to give or take offence, 
or break off an old friendship. We first met at my 
brother s rooms, with whom I came to live, and who 



"^Properties" 19 



had been Keene s schoolfellow. I was new to town 
life then, although in my boyhood I had spent six 
years at Charterhouse. Soon after our first meeting, 
when my brother was away, Keene very kindly let me 
live with him a while, as I was feeling lonely, know- 
ing few people in London. He lodged in the small 
passage leading from Southampton Row into Queen s 
Square ; but he also rented a sky-parlour in the 
Strand, not far from the office of the ' Illustrated 
London News,' for which he then was working. 
This served him for a studio and museum of quaint 
properties ; and here he chiefly used to sit, amid a 
chaos of old costumes, armour, proof-sheets, books, 
and Crocker)', and all manner of artistic waifs and 
strays and odds and ends, with a battered old lay 
figure for his personal companionship. A sort of 
ship's stove served for fireplace, and further nautical 
appearance was afforded by a hammock, which was 
slung for actual use as well as picturesqueness. 
Here, whatever was the temperature, and in spite 
of the ship s stove, he often worked in a pea-jacket. 
There was always a warm welcome for any friend 
who chose to mount the attic heights. Keene was a 
great smoker, and ' Have a pipe ?' were usually the 
first words of his greeting. There were pipes meet 
for all comers, but for himself he always smoked a 
short, old-fashioned little clay, dating very possibly 
from the days when good King James put forth his 
famous ' Counterblast.' If not between his lips, his 
pet was seldom far away from them, and, being small 
of bowl, it needed frequent filling. A flint and steel 



20 Cfiarletf Heene 



and coil of tinder served instead of match-box ; and 
the use of this machinery, as well as the care taken 
in knocking out the ashes and replenishing the pipe, 
made smoking seem in such wise a laborious occu- 
pation. I think he did not relish much his work 
upon the * News/ though it was doubtless good 
apprenticeship, and afforded him fair scope for 
making figure sketches. But bazaars and public 
meetings were little to his taste, nor had he any 
relish for ship-launches and marriages, and State or 
civic ceremonies. Especially he disliked to draw a 
public dinner or dance attendance at a ball, to sketch 
the guests assembled there. I can call to mind,, 
however, an exceptional occurrence, when he came 
home rather late from a fashionable party, where, he 
confessed frankly, he had been well entertained,, 
though not by the fair hostess ; for, while sketching 
in the vestibule, he was suddenly addressed by a 
Society reporter, who was noting down the names 
and titles of the company. 'Delightful party, ain't 
it ? ' said the loquacious gentleman to Keene, finding 
no one else to talk to. * I always like her lady- 
ship s,' he added, with a smile of benignant self- 
complacence. * Y*see, one meets such charming 
people,' he obligingly explained, as he jotted down a 
duchess who swept serenely past him. 

" Excepting, perhaps, in the matter of tobacco, 
Keene was always most abstemious, caring nought 
for wine, and dining chiefly at a chop-house. When 
I lived with him he always had a bit of bacon for 
his breakfast, and for his mental diet some old well- 



(CDtoarD ifftjfferalt 21 

thumbed volume, propped up by the toast-rack for 
convenience in reading. A newspaper he rarely 
read, nor many new books either ; but for old books, 
such as Froissart, he had a special fondness, and 
he was exceedingly well versed in quaint old English 
literature. This taste of his explains in some degree 
the rapid way in which his intimacy ripened, though 
begun quite late in life, with his friend Edward 
Fitzgerald, who lived chiefly in the past and hated 
modern literature. Some while before they met, 
Fitzgerald had been the hero of a drawing which I 
wanted Keene to do, but which he thought Mark 
Lemon might decline as being ' cruel,' for Mark 
always had a horror of printing what might possibly 
be thought a painful subject, however humorous the 
writer or the artist might imagine it. While yacht- 
ing one day with my brother and myself, Fitzgerald 
was jerked overboard by a sudden * jibe,* a mishap 
which he had been warned might very likely happen. 
He was calmly reading a Greek play at the time, 
and when we fished him inboard the book was held 
still in his hand, and he quietly resumed his reading. 
I fear I may have hinted that reading a Greek play 
was deemed rather dry work, but was hardly so in 
his case ; and I remember he declined a proffered 
change of clothes, saying no harm could be done by 
a ducking in salt water. 

*' Keene cared little for the theatre in those early 
days of ours, when we were often thrown together. 
He would, however, sometimes join a party to go to 
the French plays, and see Regnier or Rachel ; but 



22 Chariest lieene 



it was mostly at the bidding of our good friend * the 
Doctor/ now Sir Alfred Garrod, who very often 
went with us* Charles certainly loved Shakespeare^ 
but less upon the stage than in the study or the 
folio. I remember his once joining in a rural read- 
ing of the " Midsummer Night s Dream/' and the 
force which, as Lysander, he threw into his abuse of 
Hermia — 

* Hang off, thou cat, thou bur, vile thing, let loose, 
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent ' — 

seemed so to frighten the young lady, that he suddenly 
stopped short, and said very gravely, ' Tm sure I 
beg your pardon, but it's really in the play, you 
know/ 

" Though he went rarely to the opera, Keene 
was very fond of music, and mostly of old vocal 
music. His tuning-fork was always ready to his 
hand, and when he chanced to pick up any frag- 
ment of old minstrelsy he would often begin to hum 
it over while he breakfasted. He had a fine bass 
voice, and sung for some years in the chorus of 
the Handel Festival, where I happened to sit near 
him. He likewise was a member of the Henry 
Leslie Choir, and of the merry Moray Minstrels; 
and, although he very seldom cared to sing a solo, his 
' Three Ravens ' proved delightful, both for quality of 
tone and for pathos of expression. The quaintness 
of his taste was shown by his election, rather late in 
life, to play upon the bagpipes. How far he suc- 
ceeded in mastering that wondrous instrument I 
candidly confess myself incompetent to judge. The 



Hobe oC 9^u0ic 23 



practice must have pleased him, or he surely would 
have stopped it sooner than he did. 

•* Yet so good an ear for music must assuredly, one 
may think, have suffered torture the most exquisite 
in the first few score of trials at * skirling ' on the 
pipes." 

As will be seen from the foregoing notes of Mr. 
Silver, it was some time during the ** Forties" that 
Keene began to work in his garret in the Strand. 
The following reminiscences of this his first studio 
have been kindly revived for me by Mr. \V. L. 
Thomas, of the '* Graphic." 

•* I recollect him well when he had an attic in the 
Strand, opposite Norfolk Street — a gabled house, 
with his room projecting, and the floor sloping in an 
alarming manner over the street. One had to climb 
a dark, ricketty staircase, and, after fumbling among 
some old woodwork, you found the door. You then 
had to make your way by dodging and stooping your 
head among clothes-lines drawn across the room, 
carrying all sorts of old costumes and properties, 
until, on gaining the light, the tall figure of our friend 
would slowly rise from his work and greet you with 
that peculiarly pleasant (but somehow somewhat 
sad) smile. The short Cromwellian clay-pipe was 
instantly filled — it only held a thimbleful of tobacco — 
and a dilapidated chair or stool was drawn up to the 
hearth. A few coals taken out of the corner of the 
room, where they had been deposited, were put on 
the fire, and the friendly chat began. A large hand- 
some cheval glass, looking peculiarly out of place, was 



24 C|)arle0 Beene 



a conspicuous object, and was used largely by Keene 
to reflect his own figure, as the most useful and in- 
expensive model, and always at hand. You can 
easily trace the result of using this mirror in his 
drawings. At this period the figures portrayed were 
always tall, with long legs and large feet. By the 
way, I saw at the exhibition of his works a careful 
study of this room, but it must have been consider- 
ably tidied up before sitting for its portrait/* 

The study here referred to is in water-colour, and 
had been made during these early years, and given 
to his friend, the late Mr. J. M. Stewart, and finally, 
many years afterwards, bought by Keene himself at 
a sale of that gentleman's collection at Christies. It 
is interesting to notice the pre- Raphaelite character 
of this drawing. There is no doubt that Keene was 
at one time much influenced by the movement of 
Holman Hunt and his associates. 

Of this room, too, Mr. Swain, the eminent wood- 
engraver, sends me the following account : — 

*' Many years ago, when Mr. Keene was making 
his early drawings for * Punch,' I paid him a visit at 
his studio in an old house in the Strand. 

*' I found him in a big room at the top of the house. 
He was seated at table at work, and there was 
just space to walk up to him, the room being full of 
odds and ends such as an artist delights in — old 
costumes hanging about, old books, old hats, etc. I 
was struck with a row of boots and shoes, some 
of them covered with dust, those at one end of 
the room having apparently been recently in use, 



&tranti &tutto 25 



while those at the other end had seemingly been 
discarded. I believe Mr. Keene had a very strong 
objection to any woman entering the room to put it 
tidy." 

An amusing commentary upon these last words of 
Mr. Swain's description will be found upon page 120 
of "Punch" for September 20, 1856, in part iii. of 
** Englishmen in Brittany." Here we have Keene 
drawn by himself, holiday-beard and all, returned to 
his studio only to find the dreaded laundress " Mis- 
tress of the situation." Most of us know the horror 
of having the harmonious discord of our dens or 
study tables disturbed by unseasonable putting in 
order. Keene's reconciliation to this delightful 
state of jumble and confusion would seem to have 
continued to, and become intensified in, his latest 
years. We find him writing in 1889, " I have been 
all day digging out fossil numbers of ' Punch ' from 
all sorts of superincumbent strata in my den, bed- 
room," etc. 

Of his appearance at this time Dr. Dulcken, the 
translator of " German Songs from the Sixteenth 
to the Nineteenth Century," which was one of the 
earliest books illustrated by Keene, and of which 
more particular mention will be found anon, sends 
me the following account : — 

** I remember him a very grave, saturnine-looking 
young fellow, with a face like a young Don 
Quixote, — shy even to awkwardness with strangers, 
but lighting up immensely among friends. He 
had a quiet, humorous way with him, and was 



26 CJarlea Heene 



very popular already then among men of his 
own age. He lived at that time in a street off 
Holborn, and I have reminiscences of pleasant 
evenings there with some friends of his, especially 
a Mr. Stewart, to whom he seemed much at- 
tached. He had at that time the queerest of 
Bohemian studios, in the top floor of an old- 
fashioned house in the narrow part of the Strand 
on the north side, a few doors from David Mill's, 
the booksellers. Here were accumulated heaps of 
artistic 'properties,' which would have done honour 
to the study of Scott's Antiquary, Mr. Jonathan 
Oldbuck — old illustrated books and soldiers' ac- 
coutrements — photographic apparatus (a novelty in 
those days) and * Guy Fawkes ' lanterns — and over 
all, the strongest of suspicions of * cut Cavendish ' 
tobacco, 'not unconnected,' as a reporter would say, 
with ocular evidence in the shape of short clay pipes 
with blackened bowls and stems. He took a great 
fancy at that time to some German woodcuts in 
Menzel's * Frederick the Great and his Soldiers,' 
and indeed the German style of drawing for book 
illustrations considerably influenced him at that 
time. You may notice this in such cuts as * The 
old Soldier to his Cloak,' 'The Hostess' Daughter,' 
the 'Soldier Song,' etc., in the book of 'German 
Songs.' By the way, the sapient * Saturday Review,' 
in a tolerably favourable notice of the book, recom- 
mended that these illustrations should be omitted 
in a subsequent edition, as * tasteless and stupid in 
the last degree.' Later times did not endorse the 








^,*^=^^-;^ 



i^ 






''Sri^: 



ih 



:>y 



28 C|iarle0 Heene 



* Saturday's * verdict as to the value of Charles 
Keene s work." 

It was during his tenancy of the Strand studio 
that Keene was often the occupant of a seat in the 
gallery of the Royal Italian Opera/ and revelled 
in the performances of Grisi, Mario, Lablache, 
Fornisari, and Persiani. Those were, however, 
red-letter nights. As often as not he would hear 
the opera, without seeing the performers, through 
'"he opening above the huge centre chandelier, for in 
those days he was engaged by the late C. Marshall 
to assist him in scene-painting, and the *' atelier " 
was situated immediately over the centre of the 
auditorium. 

All through his work-a-day life Keene was an 
inveterate smoker. For many years he smoked 
nothing but the little clay ''plague pipes," about 
which so much has been written of late years, and 
which he declared had a sweetness of their own 
unequalled by any of modern manufacture.* These 
were procured for him from time to time in large 
quantities by many of his friends. Their antiquity 
and quaintness were a source of delight to him, and 

^ This was of course the old house, which was subsequently 
burnt down. 

^ A roar of laughter went up from a group of Keene's friends 
at the Arts Club a short time since, when one of their number 
read out from an evening paper a description of "his curious 
little metal pipe (which seemed to have come from Japan, though 
it did not)." Surely the ways of the penny-a-liner are wonderful. 
What an infinite source of "copy" this negative treatment of 
subjects must prove. 



"ipafrp iftfpeg" 29 



often he would make presents of a more than 
usually perfect specimen to a favoured familiar. 
One of these in later years he had mounted in silver 
and presented to Sir John Millais, whose well- 
known artistic signature Keene had engraved with 
his own hand upon the bowl. Another he offered 
to his friend Mr. Robert Dudley, emphasizing the 
store he set by it with the proviso, ** at least I will 
if you promise to use it for smoking, because I have 
only two or three now, and I shouldn't like it wasted 
as a mere curiosity." 

Amongst his papers was found a pamphlet dealing 
with these pipes, believed by many to have been 
used for smoking medicinally such herbs as coltsfoot, 
yarrow, mouse-ear, long before tobacco was dreamt 
of. From this pamphlet, ** A few Words on Fairy 
Pipes," by Llewellyn Jewett, F.S.A., etc., reprinted 
from the ** Reliquar}''" for January, 1863, I take the 
following description, interesting to those who are 
not familiar with the subject : — 

** From the smallness of size of these early pipes 
has, I presume, arisen their common name of ' Fairy 
Pipes,' varied sometimes with ' Elfin Pipes/ ' Mab 
Pipes,' 'Danes' Pipes,' and I have heard them de- 
signated by the characteristic name of 'Carls' Pipes,' 
a name indicative of a belief in their ancient origin. 
In Ireland they are believed to have belonged to 
the Cluricanes, a kind of wild, mischievous fairy- 
demon, and when found are at once broken up by 
the superstitious *pisantry.' In England they are 
said to have belonged to the fairies, or 'old men'; 



30 Charles l&eene 



but, unlike their Irish brethren, our peasantrj^ usually 
preserve them, and in some districts believe that a 
certain amount of good luck attends their possession. 
I have known one of these pipes carried about the 
person for years, and have heard its owner — a Peak- 
man — declare in his native dialect, on being asked 
to part with it, ' Nay, ad part wi' a towth sowner ! ' 
A quantity of these * fairy pipes ' were found in the 
parish of Old Swinford, Worcestershire, some few 
years ago, and the country folks there had a tradi- 
tion that it was a favourite spot for the resort of 
Queen Mab and her Court, and that, among other 
appendages of royalty, was a fairy pipe manufactory, 
of which these were the remains." 

Mr. J. P. Heseltine tells me that he provided his 
friend with a large number, obtained from excava- 
tions in the City. 

The following quotation from a letter of later 
years to his friend Mr. Crawhall further delightfully 
illustrates the great store he set by them, as well as 
the great " gust '* for eclectic collecting which, as we 
shall find, was destined to become one of his most 
marked characteristics : — 

** Tm sending you a couple of practicable ancient 
tobacco pipes, I mean that you can smoke if you 
are a smoker. I would not have sent them as curio- 
sities. They make a very good cigar or cigarette 
tube when mounted. The great *find' for them 
here is the mud at the bottom of the Thames. I 
believe these to have been found in digging the 
foundations for the new Law Courts. I have 



"3DDttIesC' 31 



found several myself between high and low water 
at Richmond, when the steamers used to ply 
there ! I very often dream that Tm by a river 
with sandy banks, and picking up these pipes by 
hundreds ! " 

These pipes he always lighted with an old- 
fashioned flint and steel, and his tobacco he carried 
in a curious antique brass box. 

Such tiny pipes wanted constantly clearing out 
and refilling, and it was his habit to treasure up 
the little plugs of black tobacco, so saturated with 
nicotine that they would burn no longer, in an old 
sardine-box kept for that purpose. When asked 
what these curiosites were, he would say — 

" Oh, those ! — those are ^ dottles/ When I do a 
drawing I think really so good as to deserve a 
reward, I smoke a pipeful of * dottles.' That's what 
I keep them for." 

These plugs when dried formed a pipe-charge 
strong enough to have poisoned a bargee. To- 
wards the close of his life he discovered that he had 
smoked too much, and entered into a compact with 
a friend to abstain for a time. ** When the six 
months is over," he wrote, *' I vote we have a whole 
day's smoke, even if we keep on with the abstention 
afterwards." 

The following letter, written to a young lady 
about the year 1844, will here be read with interest, 
although it must make us bitterly regret that no 
other letter of Keene's is forthcoming for the twenty 
long struggling years which succeeded : — 



32 C|iarlr0 Heme 



i* Saturday Morning, 
*• The Tunnel. 

" Dear Rosa, 

" I don't think I should like to hear the names 
you called me this morning. Though I am never 
on very good terms with Dame Fortune, that she 
should have played me false in this case I call the 
most unkindest cut of all. I woke in a great hurry 
as the clock struck eight, dressed myself as if at my 
soul's peril. I was to do it before Old Nick could 
count twenty. I rushed off. I was persuaded to 
fancy myself in luck by catching a 'bus in Holborn, 
but it was of no avail. Your train had started five 
minutes. However, I went to Blackwall. I thought 
the boat might have been delayed by some chance, 
and I might have time to kiss my hand and shy the 
book on board ; but alas ! I have not time to en- 
large on my ill luck, that you may get this //lis 
evening. Oh ! I was intensely savage — not loud, 
but deep — and thought of the trouble you perhaps 
had with the five-and-twenty bandboxes ; but I hope 
you had not, so on my defence I hope for free 
pardon. * The quality of mercy is not strained.* 
Hem ! So farewell. 

** I remain — 

" By Jove ! if you had seen the pace at which I 
went over the ground between Chepe and the ter- 
minus, you could not say I was not 

Your most 

" Obedient and devoted slave, 

" Charles S. Keexe." 



u 



CHAPTER II. 

1845— 1850. 

Samuel Read. — " Illustrated London News." — Journalistic illus- 
tration. — "Artists' Society," Clipslone Street. — Tenniel, I^wis, 
Haag, Calderon, Poynter, Wells, etc.— Sketching Club.— Lack of 
appreciation by early associates. — Modesty. — " Gravatr du XIX ' 
Slide." — Hatred of interviewers. — Poor estimate of his own criti- 
cal faculty. — Ballad of the Royal Academy. — Opinion of Franco- 
Prussian War. 

?V|^1LTH0UGH Keene's term of appren- 
ticeship to the Whympers was over, 
^&,^ and he had commenced work on his 
own account, he still continued to do 
commissions for them as required. 

At this time his chief friend and associate in 
artistic matters was the late Samuel Read, an old 
Ipswich acquaintance, and, like Keene, engaged in 
drawing on the wood for engravers. This was the 
Samuel Read who afterwards became a very suc- 
cessful water-colour painter, and a member of the 
" Old Society." 

He and Keene in these early years were much 
together, and in company tried their fortune, sending 
casual drawings to early numbers of the " Illustrated 




34 C^arle0 llSittnz 



London News." These were accepted, and in the 
course of time Read became manager of the Art 
Department of that journal, which post he occupied 
until his death a few years ago. 

By degrees Keene dropped into a regular course 
of journalistic illustration, and was required to dance 
attendance — a class of work always distasteful to 
him — at political meetings, ministerial receptions, 
soirees, and such like, to make sketches of the rooms 
and company. As time went on, and he found 
himself able to do without pot-boiling work of that 
kind, he gave it up, and confined himself to drawing 
subjects for the Christmas numbers and any special 
occasions. But this, of course, is anticipating. 

In these years of which I write he was struggling 
to earn enough to live upon, and was thankful to do 
any work that was to be had. Definite dates of this 
period are not to be got at. The first which can be 
fixed upon with any degree of certainty is that on 
which he entered upon the only definite artistic 
training — if, indeed, self-discipline can in any proper 
sense be so called — which he can ever be said to have 
undergone. This was at the " Artists' Society,** 
then situated in Clipstone Street, Fitzroy Square, 
but afterwards removed to the Langham Studios. 
Keene became a member between the years 1848 
and 1850. This society has been wrongly spoken 
of as a life school. It was no such thing, as there 
was no one there to teach. The living model, in 
alternate weeks nude and costumed, was used by 
men not in the student time, but by professional 



"artffltsf feocfetp" 35 

artists at work in their calling. It was managed by 
a committee, the members of which by turn arranged 
the model for the week, and the artists worked as 
they pleased. By degrees, too, the society accumu- 
lated a library of books on Art and a wardrobe of 
costumes, which were lent to the members under 
certain regulations. The present secretary, Mr. 
Charles Cattermole, writes : " The society then only 
occupied a large shed, or series of sheds, in a stone- . 
mason's yard, and there was no upper story ; it 
was all on the ground floor." 

Keene subsequently rented a part of this as a 
studio after he removed from his attic in the Strand. 
It was at the meetings of this society that he fore- 
gathered with many whose names have since become 
famous, and some who were to be numbered amongst 
his most intimate associates until the day of his death. 
There was John Tenniel, who writes to me of Keene 
as one of his oldest and dearest friends, and with 
whom he was to work on ** Punch '* for nearly forty 
years. There were the Brothers Dalziel, who were to 
engrave the drawings for the first book that Keene 
ever illustrated, so to speak, off his own bat. There 
was Arthur Lewis, the originator of the **Jermyn 
Band," in which Keene's deep voice was destined to 
be heard, through all its vicissitudes, for over twenty 
years. There was Carl Haag, destined so soon ^ 
to write R.W.S. after his name. There was John 
Clayton, who in after years was to play so prominent 
a part in the renaissance of the art of glass-painting, 

^ In 1850. 



36 C^arlesf Beene 

and whose friendship with Keene was only to come 
to an end with life. There were Calderon, Poynter, 
and H. T. Wells, now R. A.'s. There were the four 
Williams', whose methods were so much alike that 
they agreed to work under four different names 
to prevent confusion, viz., Williams, Bodding- 
ton, Percy, and Gilbert. There was E. Duncan^ 
father of the living artists of that name, and amongst 
others were F. Smallfield, J. D. Wingfield, J. J, 
Jenkins, F. W. Topham, H. C. Pidgeon, J. H. 
Mole, W. W. Deane, and last, not least, Fred 
Walker.* Much of Keene's work here from the 
model was done working with the dry-point on 
copper. On Friday nights the members formed 
themselves into a sketching club. On these occasions 
subjects were fixed upon, and two hours allowed 
for their execution ; the results were then handed 
round and good-naturedly criticised. To this he' 
belonged until 1856. It is curious and interesting 
to discover that Keene's work at the society and the 
club met with but little appreciation from his fellow- 
members. Indeed, it probably never entered into 
the head of any one of them that the grave, bashful,, 
long-legged fellow of twenty-seven, always smoking^ 
and talking but little, was ever likely to make any 
mark in the world at all ; it certainly never occurred 
to them that Nature had hall-marked him "genius,** 
and that at his death the century was to lose perhaps 

^ Mr. H. Keene tells me he remembers Walker in those days 
offering him a pile of his now almost priceless water-colours for a 
sovereign or two. 



1 



fl^oDesftp 37 



the greatest exponent of the Art of Black-and-White 
that it had seen.^ Such however, seems to have 
been the fact, and it is certain that Keene was the 
last person in the world to recognize this exceptional 
potentiality in himself; and we may be sure that 
if he had, modest and unassuming as he was, almost 
to a fault, he was never going to claim for himself a 
recognition from others that was not spontaneously 
given. 

Years afterwards said one of his French admirers, 
astonished at a reticence almost inconceivable to a 
citizen of that volatile nation, ** On se sentait vrai- 
ment en presence de quelqu'un qui ignorait sa 
valeur." 

And so it was all through his life. He never 
seemed to realize that he was anything more than a 
hard-working pot-boiler, doing his work certainly as 
best he could, but not a high soaring genius to 
be feted, puffed, and written about 

In 1888 his beautiful etchings, which he set so 
little store by that he never had them published, 
having received a proper recognition in the French 
capital, and application having been made to him for 
particulars of his career, he wrote to his friend Mrs. 
Edwards : — 

' This allegation is not altogether borne out, by the fact that 
from early times the club has possessed one of his drawings, 
claimed by the members as of exceptional merit. However, 
so definitely was I again assured on my visit to the Sketching 
Club, when I supped with the members at the invitation of 
Mr. Cattermole, that this lack of recognition could not be denied, 
that the text must be allowed to stand for what it is worth. 



38 Cfiarteg THiZtnt 



" I am amused at the idea of putting me down 
as a *Graveur du XIX* SiecleM I have only- 
scratched a few studies of sketches, not more than 
a dozen all told, I should think — the merest experi- 
ments ! Titles they have not. To save my life 
I couldn't tell the dates — and as to writing my life 1 
' Story, God bless you, sir, I've none to tell/ A 
quotation to that effect. ' The most stirring incidents 
in my life are a visit to the dentist (date forgotten) 
and certain experiences of the last few days/ Try to 
choke the French biographer off." 

About the same time a friend wished to inscribe a 
book of poems to him, and sent a poetical dedication, 
asking if he had any objection to his printing it with 
the rest. ** I tore my hair ! " he writes, " and figura- 
tively wrote to him * on my knees ' to spare me this. 
What a fluster I was in ! Tve been relieved ever 
since, as he has written giving way to my whim. I 
breathe again ! *' . 

All through his life he deprecated the discussion 
of his own work, and, although quick to acknow- 
ledge excellence where he distinguished it in others, 
showed a habitual dislike to canvass the demerits of 
those whose work he did not admire. " His ways," 
writes Mr. Tenniel, " were always so simple and 
retiring, his life so entirely uneventful, so far as I 
know it, and he was, moreover, so reserved in all 
matters concerning himself, especially in connection 
with his art." 

Towards the close of his life he was approached 
by interviewers, a class, as may be imagined, not at all 



3|ntectjictoeri5 39 



to his liking. ** I wish," he wrote, ** you had seen the 
' Interview ' with in the . It made me shud- 
der. I enclose you a note I have had since from the 
journalist. I was very short with the snob in my 
answer. I was as polite as I could be, but it was 
difficult/* And again to another friend : " Did you 
read those * Revelations ' in the ? Tm not sur- 
prised at , but I cannot understand falling 

in so complaisantly with these snobs of penny-a-liners. 
I had to choke the fellow off, which I did as politely 
as I could, but this is difficult." And again : ** I have 
never, that I know of, met or heard of your Art critic 
friend with the Highland name. Does he live in 
London ? I am very shy of these fellows ; they are 
so ready to pump you, and you find your name in a 
penny-paper paragraph in no time." 

Another phase of his modesty was the poor esti- 
mate in which he held his own critical faculty. He 
was in the world to do his best as a maker of pictures. 
It was distasteful to, and, moreover, he felt it out of 
place for, him to sit in judgment on the work of his 
contemporaries. 

Asked by a publisher to allow his private opinion, 
contained in a letter, of the original work of a mutual 
friend to be publicly quoted, he wrote : *' I have 
always had, and have, a very strong objection to 
putting myself before the * Public ' as a critic or any 
sort of authority (even sideways, as in this letter you 
wish to quote), or in any way whatever except as a 

working artist. I am sure C would understand 

this scruple of mine (and I hope you will) and excuse 



40 C^arlcg THittnt 



me. Entre nouSy I believe that his capital original 
work will take by its own merits, and does not want 
testimonials from anybody. I suppose you have not 
said anything to him of this idea of my letter, so I 
shall not say a word to him about it. 

** So I must ask you not to quote me publicly as a 
critic or authority in your prospectus. 

" Yours sincerely, 

"Charles S. Keene. 

" P.S. — I certainly do not dub myself* of" Punch." 
In any case this might compromise me with the 
proprietary of that journal." 

Whilst, however, refusing to be publicly quoted as 
a critic, that he did not refrain from giving his 
opinions to his friends in private upon contemporary 
art we find from time to time in his letters. 

With evident gusto he quotes, on one occasion, 
some verses which appeared in 1854 in one of the 
numerous penny " Comics " started — unsuccessfully, 
as we all know — with the main object of pulverizing 
" Punch." I can only give two verses, as there are 
references in the others to persons now living which 
would hardly be acceptable. 

** The indignant and contemptuous Ballad of the Royal Academy, 
as appointed to be sung in the presence of R.A.'s, A.R.A.*s, 
and eminent painters generally, with a view to their extreme 
annoyance. 

** TunCy ' Hoiv happy could I be,^ • 

" IVe been to the Royal Academy, 
Paid 'em a bob at the door, 



1K.SI. Ballad 41 



But never a shilling was had o' me 

Half so regretted before. 
Of all the collections atrocious ! — 

Of all the absurdities vile ! — 
Enough to make angels ferocious, 

Or lay up a saint with the bile. 
Sing Pickersgill, Landseer, and Cooper, 

Tol de rol tol de rol lay, 
IVe scarcely recovered the stupor 

I brought from their pictures away. 

" By Hunt is the sole gem pictorial 

(Who gave us those wonderful sheep) ; 
But here I the style editorial 

Must drop, as I*m going to sleep, 
A want of politeness too bad o' me, 

Still you can well understand why 
If youVe been to the Royal Academy, 

If not, I advise you to try. 
Sing Morphia, Mandragora, Poppies, 

Tol de rol tol de rol lav, 
The Square of Trafalgar ^ the shop is 

For opiates to last you the day." 

In speaking of his unobtrusive and diffident 
nature, it is curious to note how not only was he 
'* backward in coming forward," but he even went 
out of his way actually to conceal himself where he 
might unchallenged have claimed a foremost place. 
Look at page 5 of *' Punch's " Jubilee number, pub- 
lished just six months after his death. There we 
have a republished picture bearing the signature 
C. K., representing ** Mr. Punch " seated on the drum- 
head of a capstan fiddling away all he knows, whilst 
his contributors work away manfully at the **bars" 

^ The Royal Academy held its exhibition then at the National 
Gallery. 



42 Cljarlejaf I&eene 



to keep him going. Every one of the faces is a 
likeness that can be recognized, but in vain do we 
look for the familiar features of **our Carlo." At 
last we discover, from the subscribed names, that he, 
the greatest of them all, has assumed the privilege 
of hiding himself behind the burly form of Mark 
Lemon, and has only favoured us with the back part 
of his head. 

Bumptiousness he had none of himself, and he 
abhorred it in others. Just see with what a relish 
he goes about to pillory the gallant nation, the 
remembrance of whose fatuity, one would have 
thought, seventeen years was enough to dim. But 
Keene had a terribly long and sure memory for 
things that he despised, and in 1889 we find him 
writing to Mr. Crawhall : ** I know that book you 
speak of in the postcard, but it will keep. The 
photos {carte de visile size) I have, are those of the 
old King of Prussia, afterwards made Emperor, 
Von Moltke, Von Roon, Von Horn, Von Stulpnagel, 
and Von Loewenfeld. I want a few more of these 
generals to frame, with a legend on the frame. 'A 
Berlin,' the bumptious war cry of the French when 
they declared war. How well I remember the in- 
terest I took in that romantic campaign ! I can see 
the startling headings in the daily papers of the 
time, * Capture of Sedan ! ' etc. — my sympathies were 
entirely with the Germans.'* 

But this is again anticipating. 

In 1848 there was, we may be sure, no one who 
saw in the struggling artist's opinion a good adver- 



jFcantOi^ntdisEan Wi&v 



43 



tisement for a book ; no one who wanted to " inter- 
view " and exploit him at so much per line of 
"copy"; but it is characteristic of the man's simple 
nature that this bashful modesty became, if anything, 
intensified rather than modified as he grew older 
and more successful. 




CHAPTER III. 

1851— 1859. 

"Punch " Staff, 185 1 . — Louis Napoleon. —Coup ti'ilat. — "Patent 
Street-Sweeping Machine."— Keene's first appearance in " Punch." 
— Further Notes by Mr. Silver.— First signed Drawing.— Work for 
the Whympers.—" Book of German Songs."— German influence. — 
Dr. Dulcken. — Menzel.— Only an outside contributor to " Punch." 
— Tour in Brittany. — Leaves Strand Studio. — Clipstone Street 
Studio. — "Once a Week."— "A Good Fight."— " Evan Harring- 
ton." — Music. — "Jermyn Band." — "Leslie's Choir," — Mr, J. 
Heming. — Original suggestion to Mr. Birket Foster. — An 
Enthusiast. — The Volunteer Movement. — " Drowning the Maga- 

ijE now come to the great turning-point 
in Keene's career. 

In July, 1851, "Punch" was ten 
. years old, and had just secured the 
services of John Tenniel, "the cartoonist " /ar er- 
ceUence, in the place of Richard Doyle, who had 
voluntarily withdrawn from the Table, owing to 
certain religious scruples not wholly unconnected 
with the subject of his successor's first " Big Cut," ' 
Besides the proprietors and the editor, Mark 

' Vide "Punch's" Jubilee number, p. 4, July 18, 1891, 




JFirsaft "iBuncS" i&icture 45 



Lemon, the men who sat round the ** Mahogany 
Tree" at this time were Thackeray, John Leech, 
Percival Leigh, Gilbert a Beckett, Douglas Jerrold, 
Tom Taylor, Shirley Brooks, and Horace May hew. 

These were stirring times for Europe, and Louis 
Napoleon was little less than a godsend to the 
journalistic enterprise of those days. 

In 1848 he had been elected to the French pre- 
sidency by an overwhelming majority of his country- 
men's votes; 1849 witnessed the commencement of 
those violent political struggles which were the 
forerunners of internal conspiracies; and 1851 
saw this practical anarchy summarily put a stop 
to by the famous, or infamous, coup d'£tat of 
December 2nd. 

Towards the end of that month a very modest 
woodcut, bearing the legend, ** Sketch of the Patent 
Street - sweeping Machines lately introduced at 
Paris," appeared on p. 264 of "Mr. Punch's "journal. 
It represented a couple of cannon, drawn with the 
waviest of outlines, and the letter "A" marked 
upon the ground directly in their line of fire. A 
further legend explained that their portraits had 
been ** taken on the spot (A, the spot) by one of 
our own Special Artists (who, being naturally rather 
a nervous man, confesses that the peculiarity of his 
position certainly did make him feel a little shakey ; 
and, looking at his sketch, we think our readers will 
not be disinclined to believe him)." 

This was the first appearance of Keene's pencil in 
the pages which he was destined to adorn with in- 



Cl)arlc0 1S.cene 



creasing frequency as time went on for nearly forty 
years. The sketch is unsigned. Indeed, it was 




STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT OF A "PUNCH" PICTURE. 



only at the urgent request of his friend Mr, Silver, 
in whose brain the notion had originated, that the 
drawing was made, the artist bluntly expressing his 



SDratDfnff tncoffnito 47 



opinion that the joke was a mighty poor one. The 
following further notes from Mr. Silvers pen will 
here be read with interest. 

"It may seem a little strange that Keene at first 
showed some reluctance to let his name be known, 
where it was finally so famous. Still, it is the fact 
that, while his earliest * Punch * drawings were of 
my devising, he steadily declined to own himself the 
doer of them. I was writing then for * Punch ' as an 
outsider,^ but my ambition was to draw, and for this 
I had no talent. As for working on the wood, I 
soon *cut' it in despair, and, like a baffled tyrant, I 
knew not how to bring my subjects to the block. 
Keene very kindly undertook the labour for me, 
and the first design he executed was *A Sketch 
of the New Paris Street-sweeping Machines ' — a 
couple of cannon, namely — which was published in 
December, 1851, immediately after the bloody coup 
fTitat. His next two drawings illustrate an article 
of mine, and appear upon the second page of the 
next volume. His fourth, a far more finished draw- 
ing, like these, saw the light in 1852, and may be 
found in vol. xxiii., p. 257. It shows a gentleman 
engaged in fishing in his kitchen, and is entitled 
*The Advantage of an Inundation,' the autumn of 
that year being very wet. Mark Lemon wrote to 
me commending it, and asking me to try and draw 
a little more for him. I showed Charles the letter, 
and said that now, of course, his name must be 

^ I joined the staff soon after the death of Douglas Jerrold, 
and Keene a little later. 



48 CfiarUjaf Heene 



divulged, for I clearly was obtaining kudos under 
false pretences. However, he deferred the dis- 
closure for a while, and it was not until the spring 
of 1854 that his * C. K/ first appeared {vide Initial 
*G/voI. xxvi. p. T28) — a modest little monogram, 
quite unlike his later and so well-known signature. 
In the interim he marked his drawings with a mask, 
which was a device of mine for hiding his identity.* 
After the 'C. K.* appeared the mask was used but 
twice (see vol. xxvi., pp. 256 and 266). But, although 
he dropped the mask, his initials were not always 
visible in place of it. The index of that volume is 
undoubtedly his work ; indeed, the rough sketch 
which he made for it is hanging in my billiard-room. 
It is, however, left unsigned, as is his first attempt 
at a cartoon — ' Austria defies Russia ' (vol. xxvii., 
p. 153), which, for cleverness of attitude, was clearly 
well worth owning. 

** Keene had a great faculty for catching a good 
likeness, and the faces of his friends appear in many 
a * Punch * drawing. The earliest, I think, is the 
enthusiastic artist (vol. xxvi., p. 104), who is de- 
claiming to a more prosaic friend the stirring lines 
from * Ivry ' — 

* Charge by the golden lilies ! upon them with the lance ! 
A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears in rest, 
A thousand knights are pressing close behind ' — 

and who is cut short by the criticism, * Why, hang 
it, that is only one spur a-piece ! ' 

* e,g. "Not a bad customer," vol. xxiv., p. 107 (1852). 



^ortrafttf of l^fmiaielf 49 

"Another early instance, with a sketch of the 
Strand studio, may be found (vol. xxxi., p. 48) in 
the artist who rejoices that his * Cavalier in a Coal- 
hole,' being sold by auction, went for * nearly a 
pound ! ' I myself appear a little later (vol. xxxvi., 
p. 188), giving my cousin's lapdog a little gentle 
exercise by tossing him in a blanket ; while at p. 21 
of the same volume there is a better instance still, 
in the man who coolly asks the waiter, * Now, what's 
the smallest sum I can give you without being con- 
sidered mean ? ' 

** Though merely done from memory, these were all 
drawn to the life, as, indeed, was many a later por- 
trait which appeared among the rank and file of his 
delightful Volunteers. A likeness of himself may 
also frequently be recognized, one of the best being 
in the * Highland friend McClanky,* who wants to 
give his host * a chune ' upon the bagpipes. Of this 
drawing the original was shown in the * Charles 
Keene Exhibition,' and, like most of those displayed 
there, showed how sorely his work suffered in pass- 
ing through the press. 

** Another picture of himself, or, rather, series of 
pictures, appeared in * Englishmen in Brittany ' 
(vol. xxxi., pp. 100, no, 120). Here Keene and his 
two friends may instantly be recognized by anyone 
who knew them, himself by his long legs and his 
short coat, his pointed beard and curly head, and his 
companions by some oddity of figure or of dress. 

** Despite the talent he possessed for humorous 
design, Keene but rarely tried his hand at a political 

E 



i 



50 Cl^arlejS Heene 



cartoon, wherein his faculty for portraiture might 
have done good service. Nor was he ever fertile in 
suggestion of such subjects. During the many years 
wherein we sat together at * The Table,' I recollect 
but few occasions when he had the honour of 
inventing the * Big Cut' 

** Sometimes, at Mark's desire, he did a whole-page 
drawing, to face Tenniel's cartoon, but this was 
always under protest ; and when, in October, '78, 
* J. T.' went with me to Venice, and * C. K.' took his 
place as the cartoonist of the month, the work was 
not at all the labour he delighted in, and a glance at 
it will show that he was glad to get it done. 

** Keene was always very careful of the 'legend,' 
as he called it, which accompanied his drawings, 
especially if the subject chanced to come from the 
East Coast. He would often take the pains to print 
the words instead of writing them, and esteemed it a 
great grievance when a letter was misplaced in type. 
Being a Suffolk man myself, I could appreciate his 
fondness for the * Lingua East-Anglica' ; but I was 
sometimes amused at hearing him complain that a 
drawing he had made would quite fail to be appre- 
ciated because of a slight error in the letterpress 
beneath it. I often thought the drawing was so 
good that no misprint could spoil it ; the * legend,' 
by comparison, seeming like the sermon to the deaf 
Suffolk woman, and in my opinion being * won'erful 
poor stuff.' 

" I fear Charles cared but little for * les convenances^ 
and often ran the risk of offending Mrs. Grundy. 



9^rjaf. (EfrunOp 51 



He never wore a * chimney-pot ' — in which respect 
most men of sense will wish he had more followers ; 
and, as he seemed hardly conscious if his dress was 
out of date, he may at times have flourished some 
few oddities of costume. If such trifles gave offence, 
it was not by his 'good will,' as Peter Quince says. 
One day, when he dined with me, the lady sitting 
next him seemed a little puzzled by something he 
was telling her. * Til draw it, then you'll see,* said 
Charles, taking the menu-card, and searching for his 
pencil. In the search, out came his latch-key and a 
lot of little treasures, which he very gravely laid upon 
the tablecloth, and left there until the sketch was 
done, when he replaced them in his pocket. The 
shade of Mrs. Grundy might have shuddered at the 
sight of them, but the lady got the drawing, and I 
hope she has it still, for it was certainly worth the 
breach of etiquette attending it. 

** Keene immensely relished hearing a good story, 
and was capital at telling one. He had a quaint 
habit of winking when he came to the point, which 
added greatly to its humour. His face was usually 
quite grave when he began the tale, however 
humorous the details wherewith he might em- 
broider it. He would begin to smile a little as 
he approached the climax ; and, when the point was 
reached, the wink would give it emphasis. The 
last time that he dined with me, he told how a young 
Scotchman, with a healthy Northern appetite, was 
describing the chief merit of his boarding-house in 
London. * Ye ken, we're eight at table, an' so we 



52 Cl^arlejS lieene 



get a pot o' marmalade a day, an* (here came the 
wink) ah'm the only mon wha cares for't ! " 

** Sometimes the wink was introduced in rather 
a grim way, as when I chanced one day to mention 
an old friend of ours, whose health I feared was 
failing. * Why yes, poor chap,' said Charles, * he's 
in a bad way. I called there t'other day, and (wink) 
found him reading the Bible.' 

** The last wink I remember was when he had 
himself been ill, and he was telling of a visit which 
a journalist had paid him ; and how afterwards he 
had received a cutting from some country newspaper, 
relating with much verbal flourish how the talented 
and well-known artist, whose works were weekly the 
delight, etc., etc., was happily approaching a state 
of convalescence ; and, being lately interviewed, had 
been found at work upon a drawing, which was 
lengthily described, although the writer naively 
owned that it had since been published. * Best of 
It is,' said Keene, *he calls himself a critic, and 
(here he winked delightedly) the drawing was 
Du Manner's ! ' 

** The easy chair of criticism is little to my liking, 
and on the talent of Charles Keene I have small wish 
to sit in judgment. That he was a great — perhaps 
the greatest recent — master of the art of black-and- 
white seems pretty widely now confessed, although 
the industry which made him so has scarce received 
due commendation. There was nothing ever coarse 
or feeble in his work^ However slight the drawing, 
every touch was made to tell ; and there seemed 



I^IH SDramatijS pecjafonae 53 



never a line missing, or a stroke superfluous. Full 
of humour as he was, his fun was never forced. The 
people he designed seemed always natural and life- 
like, and precisely to be suited to the scene wherein 
he placed them. And what variety of postures he 
was careful to depict, and what an air of movement 
he put into his figures ! His 'bus-drivers and cabbies, 
his street-scamps and policemen, his waiters and old 
women, his 'Arriets and 'Arries, his jovial diners-out 
and latch-key-losing revellers, and best of all, per- 
haps, his * bang-went-saxpence ' Scotchmen and self- 
esteemed kirk elders : these all seem really figures 
taken from the life, and to be true types of the time 
when they were living. How precious would such 
pictures be to the historian if they dated from the 
reigns of the Georges and the Stuarts, the Tudors 
and Plantagenets, or, to go still further back, the 
Normans and the Romans ! And then what wealth 
of skilful labour he lavished on his backgrounds ! 
His country lanes and cottages, his city streets and 
shop-fronts, his second floors and studios, his breezy 
moors and billowy seas, his Irish bogs and Suffolk 
turnip-fields — all these are drawn so cleverly that 
one scarce knows which to admire most, the actors 
or the scene. 

** Charles Keene was a fine artist, as everybody 
knows ; but they who knew him well can say that 
he was something more. They knew he w^as a 
most agreeable companion, a true and steadfast 
friend, and a man of sterling worth. Kind of heart 
and gentle in his disposition, modest in his manner, 



54 C]^arle0 lieene 



and simple in his life, he ever had a good word, and 

rarely a severe one, for those he held deserving it. 

There was nothing false or fickle in his character ; 

and one may fairly feel some pride in the memory 

of his friendship. 

** Henry Silver. 

" 6, The Terrace, Kensington. 
''August, 1891." 

Thus it will be seen that, although Keene's first 
appearance in '* Punch " was at the end of 185 1, it 
was not until nearly three years later that his first 
wholly original work appeared in the shape of an 
initial letter "G," in vol. xxvi., p. 128. Nor was it 
until at least ten years later that he assumed the 
place of one of *' Punch's '* principal contributors. 
This was only after the death, in 1864, of John 
Leech, " the great, the genial, the lamented." 

In the meantime Keene was working away for 
the "Illustrated London News" and the Whym- 
pers. Of the work he did for the latter there seems 
to be no record, but in 1853 we find him working on 
his own account upon a series of illustrations for 
'*The Book of German Songs,'* translated by Dr. 
H. W. Dulcken. These Messrs. Ingram and 
Cooke intended to publish in their National Illus- 
trated Library. ** The Book of English Songs " and 
'* The Book of Scottish Songs," edited by Dr. 
Mackay, had already appeared, and it was proposed 
to follow these up with ** The Book of French 
Songs," by John Oxenford ; " The Book of Irish 
Songs," by Samuel Lever ; and the aforesaid " Book 



Boofe 3IUujs(ttatfon0 55 

of German Songs." Before, however, this scheme 
could be carried out, Messrs. Ingram and Cooke 
gave yp book- publishing, and their manager, Mr. E. 
Ward, set up for himself, in partnership with the late 
Mr. G. Lock, as "Ward and Lock," at 158, Fleet 
Street. In consequence of these changes there was 
some delay in the publication of the songs, and it 
was not until 1856 that the first book illustrated 
altogether independently by Charles Keene saw the 
light. 

These illustrations are in no way remarkable, save 
and except as evidencing the extraordinary facility 
with which he has caught the spirit, or rather, one is 
inclined to say, the spiritlessness, of contemporary 
German illustration. 

Two or three there are certainly which give an 
earnest of better things, such, for example, as that 
on p. 58 to ** Vater, ich rufe dich!'' and that on 
p. 296 to ''Die Hussiten vor Naumburg'' \ but, were 
I not assured that all are from C. K.'s pencil, I 
should imagine by far the larger number to be copied 
straight from the German woodcuts. 

The large majority are poor in the extreme, and, 
notwithstanding Dr. Dulcken's reference to the 
*' sapient * Saturday Reviewer,'" quoted in Chapter I., 
it is right to confess that, as regards the greatly 
larger proportion, I, for one, should, except for the 
adventitious interest that attaches to them as the 
early work of C. K., far prefer the translations 
without the illustrations. Those on pp. 58, 118, 
167, and 191 have a peculiar interest, as being the 



56 Cfjarlc0 Tktznz 



first of Keene's work bearing the well-known signa- 
ture C K.^ 

As Dr. Dulcken points out, Keene took a great 
fancy at this time to some woodcuts of Menzel, 
which had appeared in Kugler s " History of 
Frederick the Great." This admiration for his 
great German contemporary increased as time went 
on ; and when, in later years, the latter saw some 
original drawings of Keene's in Berlin, he. in turn, 
was equally attracted, and sent him his photograph 
signed with his autograph. Anent this, Keene. with 
characteristic modesty, writes to Mr. Stewart: ''Vm 
thinking of sending him a few scraps of studies, if I 
can screw up my confidence, but I shall be in a funk 
when they are gone, I know.** Menzel, however, 
was charmed, and wrote proposing an exchange of 
drawings. This proposal was gladly acceded to ; and 
Mr. J. P. Heseltine tells me, that so delighted was 
Menzel with them, that he became thenceforth a 
regular subscriber to ** Punch" for the sake of 
Keene s admirable work. 

As has been pointed out above, it was some time 

^ Since writing the above. Dr. Dulcken, in answer to further 
inquiries, has informed me that some of these illustrations were 
not C. K/s, but were originally drawn by Ludwig Richter for a 
book of German poems, amongst which Uhland's "Eemkehr" 
was included, and that "electros" of these were bought by 
Messrs. Ward and Lock. This satisfactorily clears up the matter, 
and no doubt the " Saturday Reviewer " referred mainly to the 
German reprints. Not but that we could equally well dispense 
with the undoubted C. K. on p. 167 to **2?^r Wirihinn 
TochterUin " ; it is as bad as anything in the book. 



S8 C5arle0 Ifteene 



before Keene became a constant contributor to the 
pages of " Punch." Indeed, it is curious to note 
how the numbers of his drawings fluctuated in the 
first fifteen volumes.^ After the first drawing, which 
appeared in the last half-yearly volume of 185 1, two 
appeared in the first half of 1852, and one in the 
last half. One appeared in the first volume of 1853, 
and four in the second. Then came the first volume 
of 1854, with his first signed production on p. 128, 
when his existence became known to the editor 
(before that, it will be remembered, his work had 
gone in in the name of Mr. Silver), and at once we 
find him the author of twenty-five drawings.^ The 
last volume of that year shows fourteen, as does the 
first volume for 1855. Then, for some reason or 
other, the number dropped to six in the next volume, 
and to three in the next, whilst in the last volume 
for 1856 we find it suddenly rising to thirty-seven. 
The next four volumes, for 1857 and 1858, have 
respectively ten, twenty-three, eighteen, and twenty. 
For these particulars I am indebted to Mr. Henry 
Silver. 

Many of these early woodcuts are unsigned, and it 
would be impossible for anyone who had no special 
knowledge of them at the time of their production 
to identify them as the work of C. K. This is more 

^ It should be remembered that the volumes are half-yearly. 
^ The first four signed C. K, are : — 

The initial letter "G," vol. xxvi., p. 128. 

The initial letter " U," vol. xxvi., p. 224. 

** Fresh negotiations," vol. xxvi., p. 253. 

" What our artist has to put up with," vol. xxvi., p. 254. 



h . I' < 



-Ci- 



'■ f ■■ 



■ '. . ■ • ■ . : 



I ■ 



1 • 



r- 



^ • : k 



• \ , 



■' '- ;.;' ■ = 



1 ■ 



.■) ■ 



^^e Qfll^ite Cottage 59 

especially the case as a large number of them bear a 
striking resemblance to the work of his great con- 
temporary, John Tenniel. 

All this time, and for two years more, Keene was 
only an outside contributor, it not being until Feb- 
ruary 6, i860, that he received his first invitation 
to the hebdomadal ** Punch " dinner. 

In 1855, towards the close of the Russian War, 
Keene was employed by the Messrs. Dickinson, of 
Bond Street, to execute for one of their customers a 
series of large drawings of the Siege of Sebastopol, 
from sketches which had been made in the trenches. 
What has become of these I do not know. 

This year Keene gave up his bachelor quarters in 
Bloomsbury, and went to live with his mother and 
sisters at Hammersmith. Mrs. Keene had, a year 
or two before this, returned from Lewisham, and 
taken an old-fashioned two-storied house, known as 
the White Cottage, then in the country, but pulled 
down in 1869, and its site now occupied by the 
** Kensington Stores." 

In 1856 Keene, with two of his friends, the late 
Mr. J. M. Stewart, then a clerk in the London and 
Westminster Bank, and Mr. Sleigh, an artist, under- 
took a tour in Brittany, a humorous account of 
which we have, preserved in twenty-four drawings 
for ** Punch," published on September 6, 13, and 20 
of that year. 

The pictures are charming, and the portraits of the 
three friends, sustained throughout, are admirable. 
Added to which there is, in the centre of page 1 20, 



6o Cfiarletf Heene 



the presentment of a peasant girl, which is enough 
in Itself to refute the foolish fallacy that Keene was 
unable to draw a beautiful woman. His own thumb- 
biting bashfulness in the background is delightful as 
he enviously regards his friend in close converse 
with the pretty damsel, and regretfully remarks to 
his other companion, who is handicapped by an 
ignorance similar to his own, " Oh dear ! What 
advantages some fellows have who can speak the 
language." 

It was, with the exception of a visit with Mr. 
Stewart to Biarritz, I believe, twenty years before he 
again crossed the channel. 

Soon after this trip abroad Keene left the Strand 
studio. ** The Artists' Society," having outgrown 
its original quarters, had removed to Langham 
Chambers, and the old room in Clipstone Street 
was divided into two studios. In one of these he 
took up his quarters, the other being occupied by 
his old friend and co-member of the ** Society," J. D. 
Wingfield.^ The entrance to these premises was, as 
has been said, through a stonemason's yard. Keene 
considered it a great privilege here to have the 
opportunity, of which he largely availed himself, of 
making studies in the open air. 

Working in this studio late at night, a habit which 
became more and more confirmed as he grew older, 
he was much disturbed by cats, which prowled and 

^ From the books of the Society, kindly put at my disposal by 
Mr, Cattermole, I find that the rent of the Langham premises was 
first paid for Jan., 1855. 



sit mat toftf) Cat0 6 1 

squalled about his window. Setting his wits to 
work, he contrived a toy weapon of offence, over 
which the big man showed the boyish enthusiasm 
which was a characteristic through life. Mr. John 
Clayton remembers well paying him a visit soon 
after he had perfected this instrument, and finding 
him energetically practising, so as to arrive at an 
accuracy of aim. He dilated with much pride upon 
his ingenious invention. Breaking off the side 
pieces of a steel pen, he fastened the centre harpoon- 
shaped piece on to a small shaft. This he wrapped 
round with tow, and propelled by blowing from a 
tube into which it fitted. The electrifying effect 
produced by these missiles upon his victims, without 
permanently injuring them, delighted him vastly, 
and he described graphically how they would come 
along the leads outside his window outlined en 
sillwuette, and how the first moment they were struck 
by the little arrows they would stand for an instant 
stock still, whilst every hair on their bodies would 
stand out sharp and separate against the sky, like 
quills upon the fretful porcupine, and then how, with 
a yell, they would leap headlong out of sight into the 
darkness. 

That this removal from his first studio could not 
have been coincident with the departure of the Life 
School to Langham Chambers, is evident from the 
following letter, which is endorsed "received 1857." 
Apart from this evidence, I should have been in- 
clined to put the change at least a year earlier. 



62 Cl)arle0 Ifteene 



To Joseph Hemingy Esq. 

"291, Strand. 

*' Dear Heming, 

" I am very sorry I shall not be able to come 
on Monday, * which' it being my turn to set the 
Figure at the school, I shall not be able to get away 
till nine, so could not be in decent time. Do you 
keep up your Monday meetings ? I am looking out 
for a studio, and saw one the other day which would 
have suited you to a T, only don't you wish you 
might get it ? Have you * broke prison ' yet ? I 
had a brief flutter down to the coast of Devon. My 
friend, who is a mighty angler, fished, and I loafed 
about sketching, and all that sort of thing, and 
enjoyed it hugely — but, alas ! only for ten days. I 
hear you are going to the Highlands. You may see 
N., and sign a peace. Can't you look in at the 
Ca/<^ Laurence some night ? I shall be there after 
nine every night next week. I hear S. has taken a 
house at Tottenham, and recedes from the choir. 

** In haste, yours very truly, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

The year 1859 saw the initiation of a venture 
which was destined to provide Keene for some time 
with regular work. Up till that date, it will be re- 
membered, Charles Dickens's " Household Words " 
had been published by Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, 
but, difficulties having arisen, that magazine was 
discontinued, or, rather, continued elsewhere, under 
the title of *'A11 the Year Round." Thereupon 



"iDnct a aauefi" 



63 



Messrs. Bradbury and 
Evans started a maga- 
zine in July called 
"Once a Week," under 
the editorship of Samuel 
Lucas, and illustrated 
mainly by the " Punch " 
artists. 

Keene was from the 
very commencement em- 
ployed, and in the course 
of the first nine volumes 
we find between 140 
and 1 50 drawings from 
his pencil. At first he/ 
provided one every 
week, but as time went 
on, and the calls upon 
him for the pages of 
"Punch" became greater, 
they grew less frequent, 
until, in the ninth half- 
yearly volume, we find 
only three, and in the 
following they cease al- 
together. In 1866 a new]cc.y^"~^ 
series was started, and 
in Volume IV. we find 
him reappearing with 
one beautiful illustration to a small poem by F. C. 
Burnand. In these pages he was called upon to 




ILLUSTRATION. 



64 C^arlejs Heene 



illustrate such important serials as Charles Readers 
** A Good Fight," afterwards republished in book 
form, without the illustrations, as ** The Cloister 
and the Hearth," and George Meredith's ** Evan 
Harrington." 

For this last, Mr. Meredith tells me, there was no 
consultation as to the illustrations between artist and 
author. Keene selected his own incidents, and the 
pictures gave the novelist entire satisfaction. 

In Appendix A I have attempted to give a com- 
plete list of the stories and poems illustrated by 
Keene in " Once a Week." 

It may be here remarked that in the Index 
to the ninth volume the drawing on page 169 is 
attributed to Keene, whereas it is clearly, I think, 
from the hand of Charles Green, a mistake doubt- 
less arising through the phonetic similarity of the 
names. 

One of the writers in ** Once a Week " tells me 
that very often the stories were written up to the 
pictures, not, as is usually the case, the illustrations 
prompted by the letterpress. 

The year before, 1858, Keene, always a lover 
of music (he calls himself a musical maniac in a 
letter to Mr. Crawhall), and able from early times 
to read at sight with great facility,* had become 
a member of Mr. Arthur Lewis s famous choral 
society. 

Mr. Lewis -writes : *' He joined my choir when 

^ He had joined one of the classes of the late John HuUah 
about the year 1850. 



"Cfte 3|ermpii Banti" 65 



my meetings were held at Jermyn Street, where we 
called ourselves the 'Jermyn Band/ 1858- 1862, 
and continued to be a member of it when it became 
better known as the * Moray Minstrels,' at Moray 
Lodge, from 1862- 1867. He was a most regular 
attendant at these meetings, and his correct ear and 
fine voice rendered him a most valuable member. 
He was a great favourite with all of us/' 

After 1867 the " Society" was carried on elsewhere, 
and Keene continued a member until 1879. 

It may be pointed out that, apart from the high 
pitch of excellence attained by its members under 
the conductorship, from its very commencement 
until the present time, of Mr. John Foster, the 
"Jermyn Band" stands out as the pioneer of the 
"smoking concerts" which are now such a feature 
of our civilization. 

Three years previously, in 1855, Keene had 
joined " Leslie's Choir," and had taken part in the 
first public concert given by that Society on May 
26th, 1856. He withdrew in 1866 or 1867, because 
they took to the performance of larger works, which 
he chose to consider new-fangled ** chorus singing," 
in place of the old madrigals and motets of which 
he was an enthusiastic admirer. It was part of his 
nature to love everything that smacked of antiquity, 
and this unvarying particularity in his tastes will 
appear more and more as we proceed with the 
consideration of his original and in many respects 
fantastic character. 

With Mr. Hardcastle he would have said, '* I love 



(i(> Cl)arletf ISteene 



everything that's old — old friends, old times, old 
manners, old books, old wine." ^ 

^ The following interesting note as to the inception of *'Leslie^s 
Choir" has been supplied to me by Mr. J. Heming. "I first 
thought of establishing a picked Choir about the year 1852, at 
which period I was a superintendent in the Harmonic Union, 
conducted by the late Sir Julius Benedict. I observed that in a 
chorus of, say, 300, all the best work was don:^ by about 50 voices, 
and that without these leaders the chorus fell to pieces. These 
results were not to be wondered at, considering there was (at that 
time) no trial made of a singer's voice or ability. I saw plainly 
that it was hopeless to exi)ect excellence under such a system, and 
I determined, if possible, to establish a select choir on a sounder 
basis, for the performance of unaccompanied music only. 

" The difficulties at first were great, as good vocalists objected 
to sing in what they considered a chorus, and none other were of 
any service. I, however, kept my puri)Ose steadily in view, adding 
a name from time to time to a list which I carried about with me 
for fully two years, but it was not until the winter of 1853-4 that 
I had a sufficient number to begin with. In the first instance we 
met under the baton of the late Mr. Frank Mori, but, subsequently 
meeting with Mr. Henry Leslie, I thought he would make a more 
suitable conductor, and towards the end of 1855 I transferred the 
leadership to him. Events proved that I was right ; he was a 
clever, ambitious amateur, and altho' not accustomed to conduct 
voices, he saw his opportunity, and threw himself heartily into 
the work. As soon as it was known that a really select choir was 
formed, we had numberless offers of assistance, most of which 
were worthless, and had to be declined after trial, great offence 
being frequently given to personal friends, both Henry Leslie's and 
my own. I tested every one carefully in sight reading, solo sing- 
ing, and ascertained the compass of each voice. After a few 
rehearsals, we sang two or three times at concerts of the Amateur 
Society, and then settled down to hard practice. The first concert 
was given in May 1856, for the purpose of raising a fund to pay 
current expenses, our number then being about sixty. The pro- 
gramme consisted of sixteenth and seventeenth century madrigals, 
with a few part-songs and full anthems, and was such a success. 



"'arije %tfiHt Cljoir" 67 



In addition to the above associations, he was a 
member of a choral class established by the late 
Charles Horsley (a brother of the Royal Academi- 
cian), the meetings of which were held in Hanover 
Square on Tuesday evenings, over Wenzels music- 

both financially and otherwise, that the choir at once took the high 
position it afterwards held for so many years. It was admitted 
by every competent judge that such a quality of lone had never 
before been heard in England. The equal balance of the several 
parts, precision in attack, starting perfectly in tune, and without 
a preliminary chord (or even sound that the public could detect), 
simply from the key-note which I sounded very softly in my 
falsetto, was a novelty and a surprise to the musical public ; and, 
as we worked upon our first programme for nearly six months, 
everyone knew the music by heart, and could watch the con- 
ductors beat from beginning to end. The fame of the Choir 
spread, and the following year we were * commanded ' to sing before 
Her Majesty and the Court at Buckingham Palace. During the 
seven years that 1 acted as choir master we never exceeded 
eighty-eight in the orchestra, in the proportion of about thirty-six 
trebles, fifteen altos, eighteen tenors, and twenty basses, for the 
reason that I could never obtain more than eighteen tenors of the 
right quality ; the other parts therefore had to be in proportion. 
I retired from the Choir in 1863, when the members presented me 
with a testimonial in silver, together with an address on vellum 
signed by the subscribers. After I left, the Choir underwent 
several changes, and the numbers increased to about 240. Mr. 
Leslie was enabled to perform larger works, but I think the 
Madri;^als suffered, and the quality of tone was altered. The 
Choir was disbanded in 1880, when Mr. Leslie was i)resented 
with a valuable testimonial. There was an attempt to revive it 
under Mr. Randegger, and later on Mr. Leslie took it in hand 
agiin, but neither of these revivals achieved the brilliant success 
of the old days. 

*• I am, dear Sir, 

** Faithfully yours, 

*• Joseph Hkming." 



68 C^arle0 Heene 



shop. He was also a member of " The Sacred 
Harmonic Society," *'The Catch Glee and Canon 
Club," and "The 'Bach* Society." During the 
latter years of his life, however, he dropped his 
memberships, and the only society to which he 
belonged at the time of his death was the " Western 
Madrigal Society," the practice meetings of which 
are held at the house of the Royal Society of 
Musicians, Lisle Street, Leicester Square. Writing 
of these Societies, Mr. Joseph Heming says : ** He 
was very fond of singing catches, and would at any 
time give up an evening to his intimates for the 
pleasure of joining in them, at which he was very 
expert. I have often remarked that he was the most 
reliable and sincere man I ever met with in music. 
In small gatherings the host, or whoever is respon- 
sible for the success of a musical evening, is always 
anxious lest one of the party fails to attend, and so 
spoil the quartette ; but Charles Keene might always 
be depended upon, let the weather be ever so bad — 
the first to arrive, and the last to wish to retire." 

The enthusiasm with which Keene took up every- 
thing which interested him we find exemplified at 
every turn, and it is not surprising to discover that 
in his zeal he developed original ideas upon the 
subject of singing, as indeed he did upon all subjects 
with which he occupied himself. 

One of his delightful suggestions was that his 
friend Mr. Birket Foster should have the full scores 
of catches, madrigals, etc., painted large on boards to 
hang about in the rooms of his house, so that at any 



70 evaded Heene 



moment the occupants, feeling inclined, could, with- 
out the trouble of hunting up the books, break out 
into part-singing. Mr. Foster followed the advice, 
although in a rather more elaborate manner than that 
proposed, employing Messrs. Clayton and Bell to 
paint the music on glass, and having it inserted into 
the upper lights of the drawing-room windows, with 
very telling effect. This, as may be imagined, gave 
Keene huge delight. Of other phases of his passion 
for music and his love for all quaint instruments, 
from the bagpipes to the penny whistle, and the 
eagerness with which he took them up one by one, 
as well as of his profound knowledge of archaic and 
curious varieties, there will be much to say later on. 

Keene was half-hearted over nothing. He was 
vehemently hot or most positively cold. 

The year 1859 saw the formation of volunteer 
corps of riflemen, in consequence of the prevalent 
fear of a French invasion, and by the end of the 
year many thousands were enrolled throughout 
England. Keene entered the ranks at the very 
commencement of the movement, becoming a 
member of the South Middlesex Corps under 
the command of the late Lord Ranelagh. Amongst 
his friends and associates, when he wore the Queen's 
livery, was Mr. Alfred Cooper, the artist. They 
were in the same Company (No. 5, Kensington) of 
the 2nd Middlesex, and shared a tent together 
in the regimental camp at Wimbledon from 1867- 
187 1. On these occasions no doubt it was that 
Keene made studies for those delightful Volunteers 



molunttttins 



with which his " Punch " work has made us so 
familiar. 

Apropos to his volunteering, I may here quote 
from a letter to Mr. Mills, delightful for the evident 
enjoyment which he finds in laughing at the nervous- 
ness of himself— the bold soldier : — 

"We'd a rattling thunderstorm — 'Tempest,' I 
mean — this morning. I suppose I'm getting old 
and nervous, but when I saw the lightning streaking 
straight down I was not comfortable, — about eighty 
or ninety rounds of ball cartridge in my room, — so 
I slipped out of bed and drowned the magazine ! " 




AN IRISH JEHU. 



CHAPTER IV. 

i860— 1864. 

First appearance at " Tlic Table."^Mr. Spielmann's account of 
"Punch" Dinner. — Mr. Tenniel's account. — "The Voyage of the 
Constance." — "Sea Kings and Naval Heroes." — "The Cambridge 
Griseite." — " Eyebright." — Camping out. — Sailing. — Mr. Siacy 
Marks, R.A. — Position as artist now assured. — Leaves Clipstone 
Street Studio. — 55, Baker Street. — Love of exercise. — The Arts 
Club. — Dinner-party. — Death of Leech. — Keene's unconven- 
tionalism. — Food peculiarities. — Bouilla-baisse. — " Comhill 
Magazine." — "Legends of Number Nip." — Mark Lemon's "Jest 
Book."—" Tracks for Tourists." — " Tempera" painting. 

)!HE year i860 opened with an occur- 
[ rence of considerable importance in a 
life so destitute of exciting and epoch- 
naking incidents as that of Charles 
Keene. 

For the last nine years, as we have seen, he had 
been but an outside contributor to the pages of 
" Punch," but now he was to receive that much- 
coveted honour, an invitation to the celebrated 
weekly dinner, to which, tradition says, though 
slightly in error, no stranger is ever admitted on any 
pretext whatsoever. Henceforth he was entitled — 
although, by the way, he would never avail himself of 




"l^incS" 3Dfnner 73 



the privilege — to append to his name the honourable 
appellation, ** of * Punch/ *' It should, however, here 
be stated that Keene never became a member of the 
staff. Frequently pressed to do so at a fixed and 
liberal salary, he preferred not to be tied down to the 
production of so many drawings every week, and 
always insisted upon being paid by the piece. If he 
drew an initial letter he was paid so much, and 
if a •* social" or a cartoon so much, but \vhether 
to his own pecuniary advantage or disadvantage 
I have no means of judging. 

The ** Punch " dinner is a function of such par- 
ticular interest that I cannot refrain from here 
quoting part of the exceedingly interesting account 
of it given by Mr. M. H. Spielmann in his article 
in ** Black and White " on the occasion of '* Punch's " 
Jubilee : — 

" On Wednesday evenings the celebrated heb- 
domadal dinner is held, when the contents of the 
paper for the following week are discussed and 
determined.^ Upstairs the sacred function is held, 
in a room reached by an ancient and rather crazy 
staircase. Sir Joseph Paxton and a lady — the wife, I 
believe, of one of the publishers — are said to be the 
only strangers who ever were admitted to witness 
this esoteric celebration. The * table' — at which 
only the staff, and not even the regular outside con- 
tributors, have any right or chance to sit — is then 



^ Mr. Spielmann does not mention that, in addition to these, 
there was generally an extra ** Almanac " dinner about October in 
each vear. 



74 C$arle0 Heene 



surrounded by the gentlemen of the staff, artists and 
writers, presided over by the editor, and * supported ' 
with more or less regularity by Mr. Bradbury and 
Mr. William Agnew, the proprietors. As a piece 
of furniture this hospitable, but rather primitive, 
board is not of much account, being of plain deal, 
oblong in shape with rounded ends. But its associa- 
tions render it a treasure among treasures ; for at 
this table every man upon the staff from the first 
has carved his name with a penknife, and here may 
be seen the handiwork of those so many of whom 
are on England's roll of fame, as well as that of 
others who, with less of genius, have still a strong 
claim on the gratitude and the recollection of the 
people. The editor, as I have said, presides ; 
should he be unavoidably absent, another writer — 
usually, nowadays, Mr. Arthur h Beckett — takes 
his place, the duty never falling to an artist. Mr. 
Burnand — who as a president is believed to excel all 
previous editors, as Sir Frederick Leighton sur- 
passes all past P.R.A.'s — invites suggestions, listen- 
ing, weighing, and, with rare tact and art, * drawing' 
his staff as well as any artist upon it could. Dinner 
is over and the cloth is removed before the business 
of the evening is touched upon. Jokes, laughter, 
and discussion are the order of the evening. On 
the editors right sit Mr. Tenniel, Mr. du Maurier, 
Mr. Sambourne, Mr. Furniss, and Mr. Reed; and 
then there are Mr. a Beckett, Mr. Milliken, — one 
of the most talented, as he is one of the most 



modest men upon the paper, — Mr. (Anstey) Guthrie, 
Mr. Lucy (*Toby'), and Mr. Lehmann. 

1^ ^F ^F ^F 'R' 

" Some have attended for many years. With the 
exception only of a half-a-dozen absences through 
ill-health, Mr. Tenniel has sat at these weekly 
dinners without a break for forty years — a sufficient 
guarantee, one would think, that tradition has been 
respected, and that the spirit of * Punch,' if one man 
could secure it, has suffered no deterioration. The 
tenderness of these men for the honour and glory 
of * Punch * is delightful and touching to see, and 
cannot be without effect upon the young men who 
from time to time are called upon to fill sad 
vacancies/* 

Keene first took his seat at what Thackeray 
euphemistically designated ** The Mahogany Tree " 
on Wednesday, February 6, i860. On that occasion 
there were also present (besides Messrs. Bradbury 
and Evans, the then proprietors, and Sir Joseph 
Paxton,) Mark Lemon, as editor, Shirley Brooks, 
John Leech, Horace Mayhew, Percival Leigh, 
Henry Silver, Tom Taylor, and John Tenniel. 
Thackeray, who, as an old member of the corps, 
still frequently attended, may have been present, 
and probably Samuel Lucas, who was admitted as 
editor of " Once a Week." 

Of Keene on these occasions Mr. Tenniel writes 
to me: *' His presence at the * Punch' dinner was 
always delightful, and no one could have been more 
sadly missed than he when failing health at last 



76 CfiarlejS Heme 



compelled him to absent himself from the 'table' 
altogether." For the first year or two he was a 
regular attendant, but afterwards came increasingly 
to look on what most consider an inestimable privi- 
lege as somewhat tiresome. As a matter of fact 
he was not of very much use with suggestions for 
political cartoons and the general conduct of the 
paper, and the dinner was not of much use to him in 
providing his pencil with subjects. He spoke very 
little, and was apt to throw cold water on projects 
under discussion. If specially appealed to for his 
opinion, he would, as likely as not, pass upon 
them a short and comprehensive criticism, such as 

** D d bad," and relapse, with a twinkle in his 

eve, into smoke and silence. 

It was characteristic of the man not to care for 
these gatherings, just because it was considered a 
great privilege to be invited. He found them irk- 
some, and of little use to him in his work, and that 
was quite reason enough for discontinuing a regular 
attendance. In August, 1S87, he writes to Mrs. 
Edwin Edwards: '^I'm very much obliged for the 
books, a godsend to a derelict stranded in London ; 
everybody away and the club shut up ! — obliged to 
go to the ' Punch ' dinner for company !'' 

This was certainly not complimentary, but then 
we must remember that Keene rarely minced his 
words. A spade to him was never **an instrument 
of agriculture." 

The same year as witnessed his first appearance 
at the ** Punch" dinner found him illustrating **The 



!l?OllDap0 77 



Voyage of the Constance," by M. Gillies ; the fol- 
lowing year, ** Sea Kings and Naval Heroes," by 
J. G. Edgar,^ for Messrs. Bell and Daldy, and 
** The Cambridge Grisette," by Herbert Vaughan, 
for Tinsley Brothers, eighteen full page, a vignette, 
and eight initial letters; and 1863, ** Eyebright," by 
'* Augusta," for Mr. C. K. Jacob. 

It must not be supposed that all these years in 
London Keene had done nothing but work. As a 
matter of fact he had given all his best energies to the 
prosecution and study of his art, but, like all of us, he 
required a certain amount of relaxation and holiday. 
Always a Bohemian at heart, although made out to 
be much more of one by the notices which appeared 
at the time of his death than he really was, for, 
as Mr. Stevenson writes, ** no man could have a 
nature more gentle and more truly refined," an 
absolute freedom from time to time from the con- 
straints of modern civilization was especially grateful 
to him. 

When practicable, he would get off to some 
out-of-the-way spot and camp out under canvas with 
a friend, their costume being, as one of his com- 
panions says, **a loose mixture of the volunteer and 
gamekeeper, with a dash of the Bengal sowar, from 
wearing puggurees and handkerchiefs on our hats." 

At other times he would hire, sometimes with his 
brother, sometimes with another friend, a fishing- 
boat, and sail about the East Coast. 

* This book is quite out of print, and I have had no oppor- 
tunity of seeing it. 



78 C^arleiai lieene 



About this year (i860) he chartered one of 
these with his friend Mr. Stacy Marks, with 
whom he was on the closest terms of intimacy for 
more than thirty years. Keene, who was never 
without pen and paper, rarely on these occasions let 
an opportunity slip of getting down a study from 
Nature ; and, fortunately for us, Mr. Marks, who 
had never before attempted pen-and-ink drawing, 
was seized with the spirit of emulation, and produced 
the portrait of Keene which appears opposite, as 
well as the sketch of the ** William and Mary," with 
C. K. asleep in his bunk. My best thanks are due 
to the artist for allowing me to reproduce these first 
attempts in these pages. 

On this trip Keene, always fond of a bit of boyish 
fun, used to amuse himself by setting afloat, on calm 
evenings, the empty eggshells which he had saved 
from breakfast, with lighted candle-ends as cargo, 
and watching them float away and burn themselves 
out in the distance ; and hugely delighted he was 
when one evening the unusual phenomenon brought 
the wary coastguard promptly down upon them. 

It was about this time that Mr. Marks, through 
the kind offices of C. K. with the editor of the 
'* Spectator," became Art critic to that journal. 

Work was now very brisk. He was sending a 
large number of drawings to *' Punch" and **Once 
a Week," and publishers were calling upon him for 
book illustrations. 

His position as an artist was by this time well 
assured, and, comfortably settled as he was in 



■,\ 



• > 7.'. J.' 



« 



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. I 
'I 



/i 



< ■• 



r * 






* - -. - 



• y 



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*■ • 



Ba&er Street ^tutiio 79 

Glipstone Street, he felt it hard to have to leave 
these convenient quarters, which were required for 
enlarging the stonemason's works. However, turn 
out he had to, and a new studio was taken at 
55, Baker Street, over the well-known photographers, 
Messrs. Elliott and Fry. Here he remained for 
about ten years. A gentleman who, for a portion of 
that period, was doing outside work for '* Punch," 
sends the following humorous and characteristic 
account of the artist : " I only paid him a couple 
of visits or so," he writes, ** in his studio at 
Baker Street, and there found him grimly affable, 
sweeping out his rooms with his own hands, and 
yet receiving me with the sang-froid of a Balfour or 
a Vere de Vere. He saw a situation with a flash 
of lightning, for all his apparent stolidity. Have 
you ever noticed a toad or a green frog catch a fly 
on its tongue ? He took in jokes that way, with a 
wild Celtic gleam of appreciation in his eye and an 
occasional interjected grunt of satisfaction. He 
played the bagpipes up there above Elliott and 
Fry's,^ and I can picture his cool enjoyment of the 
consternation he must have felt he was causincr down 
below. I did the Irish jokes for 'Punch' at that 
time, and where they were suited for illustration he 
did them. . . . The profound politeness, as he 
motioned me to a chair with his hearth-brush, would 
have made one of his best studies in black and white." 
Keene was a great believer in the importance of 

^ It was in 1869 that Keene first took up the bagpipes. There 
will be much to say of this later on. 



8o Charles l(eene 



regular exercise, and walked daily to and from his 
work between Hammersmith and his studio. Always 
disinclined to spend money over what he considered 
unnecessary luxuries, it was only on the rarest occa- 
sions that he would treat himself to a cab ; and, to 
deter himself from using the * Underground,' which 
he considered unwholesome as a means of locomo- 
tion, he made it a rule, on this principle, always to 
travel first-class if he did. 

On one occasion, however, it is on record that he 
took a hansom the whole way from Baker Street to 
112, Hammersmith Road. It happened in this 
wise. After finishing his work one night, he had 
religiously tramped all the way home through the 
almost deserted streets at two o'clock in the morning. 
Just as he reached his door it suddenly burst upon 
him that he had forgotten to turn out the gas in his 
studio. With the dogged resolution so characteristic 
of him, he turned about on the threshold and trudged 
wearily all the way back, only to find that he had not 
left the gas alight. On this occasion he indulged in 
the unusual luxury of a hansom home. His walking 
powers he retained until his last illness. Indeed, 
when he was already in failing health, he walked 
from Felixstowe to Woodbridge and back, a matter 
of a score of miles — not bad work for a man who had 
passed the grand climacteric. 

It was in this year (1863) that the Arts Club was 
founded, Keene being one of the original members. 
Up to the last year of his life he was a constant 
frequenter of the house in Hanover Square, and 



a? i?o0t 8i 

there would, from time to time, though not frequently, 
entertain a friend or two. On November 4, 1877, 
we find him writing to Mr. Stewart : ** IVe asked 

a friend to dine at the club to-day, a Major L , 

whom I met some years ago when he was here from 
India, and he's had another leave, and is going back 
next month, and Tve asked du Maurier and Tenniel 
to meet him. Fm not used to tJie r$le, and it's rather 
nervous work.'' 

On the nth he writes in much glee : " My dinner 
went off very well. We dined at the Saturday table 
d'hSte, where the craft muster in some strength and 
make a lively party. My friend, the Indian Major, 
praised the mulligatawny soup, and he wrote me 
afterwards, * I do not know when I have enjoyed an 
evening more than last Saturday at your club. I 
was very happy to make the acquaintance of Tenniel 
and du Maurier, and a more cheery party altogether 
than yours I have seldom met.' " 

I shall, I hope, be forgiven for making this " Life " 
in many respects a "small-beer" chronicle; but, if 
I am not mistaken, it is by such exposure of a man's 
smallest hopes and fears that we are best enabled to 
arrive at his veritable personality. We shall find, in 
proceeding, that there is an exceptional ingenuousness 
and unreserve about Keene's letters, qualities pecu- 
liarly fascinating and instructive to those who only 
knew him as somewhat bashful and uncommuni- 
cative. 

On October 28, 1864, John Leech died, and ** Punch" 
was deprived of the man who, more than any other, 

G 



S2 CJarlest l&eene 



has identified himself with the genius of that journal. 
But a few months before, cut ofiF in the fullness of his 
noble powers, Thackeray had also passed away, 
and, although he had ceased to be a member of the 
staff, his death was a staggering blow to the ** Table," 
which he so often revisited. It speaks volumes for 
those who now stepped forward and assumed the 
places of these two transcending geniuses in the 
foremost rank of contributors that its columns marched 
forward without check or waver. Of these Keene 
was undoubtedly the strongest and most original, 
although by no means the most acceptable to the 
general public. The lack of beauty, of well-groomed- 
ness, of respectability in his dramatis pcrsonce, was 
not agreeable to a class, the majority of which, like 
Malone's friend, Sir Michael le Fleming, prefer 
the smell of a flambeau at the playhouse to the 
fragrance of a May evening. That Keene could 
have drawn the lovely be-Worthed young ladies and 
the splendidly proportioned and frock-coated young 
men with which Mr. du Maurier delights us week by 
week, not to speak of the godlike hero of his charm- 
ing novel, I do not think anyone can doubt, had he 
set himself to do it, but it was part of the ineradicable 
Bohemianism of his character and the realistic bent 
of his genius that made him shun the representation 
of what he considered artificial and an outrage upon 
nature. 

He was essentially one of those who care not for 
what Jean Paul calls '^the respect that is paid to 
woollen cloth, not to thee," and he felt it beneath 



^artocracp 83 



his dignity to pander to what he considered the 
flabby tastes of the Sartocracy. That he carried his 
scorn of the merely ornamental in clothes too far 
cannot, I think, be doubted ; but his thoroughness in 
this, as in everything else, was one of his most distin- 
guishing qualities. 

Keene was an artist who saw deep into the charac- 
ters he portrayed. He was no Teufelsdrockh, to 
undertake **to expound the moral, political, even 
religious influences of clothes," and to make mani- 
fest, in its thousand-fold bearings, this grand propo- 
sition, " that man's earthly interests are all hooked 
and buttoned together and held up by clothes.*' 
It was one of his grievances, in common with the 
philosopher, that **day after day he must thatch 
himself anew," and it was an evil which must be 
minimized, not complicated, as far as possible. Lords 
and beggars alike were to him "forked, straggling 
animals with bandy legs," which he admitted must, by 
force of their surroundings, be covered up, but when 
. clothed and warm there was an end of it. Life was 
quite intricate enough without having to get in and 
out of garments oftener than was necessary. Bitterly 
he complains that at a house to which he was invited 
he would have to " tindrcss every day for dinner, and 
this means a Pantomime Portmanteau, and I hate 
impedimenta in an outing, so I shall shirk if I 
can." 

Without in any way being at war with Society, he 
was absolutely indifferent to the opinions which 
Society held about him. ** Them's my sentiments 



84 Charted Heene 



pretty accurately," he writes one day, after quoting 
some verses by his old friend, Percival Leigh, in a 
far back number of ** Punch " — 

" Outward show, ma'am, 

I forego, ma'am, 
When it interferes with ease ; 

Often eat, ma'am. 

In the street, ma'am, 
As I walk, my bread and cheese. 

" Mrs. Grundy, 

Gloria Mtindi 
Passes like a dream away. 

You may chatter, 

That's no matter. 
Ma'am, I care not what you say." 

At the same time, it must be borne in mind that, 
although Keene despised the poor artificialities of 
modern existence, he clearly recognized, notwith- 
standing his old-fashioned notions, that life in the 
nineteenth century had its advantages. Although 
undoubtedly there was in him a tendency to admire 
things "old and ancient" purely because of the 
accident of antiquity, he certainly did not despise a 
thing merely because it was '^fin de Steele,'' 

Irrational impracticableness, which refused to 
recognize the conveniences of to-day, was as objec- 
tionable to him as mere wanton Radicalism. He had 
been on one occasion to a public lecture, and wrote 
to his friend Mr. Bain, the well-known bookseller of 
the Haymarket, " that sane men in this nineteenth 
century should propound such romantic and utterly 
impracticable notions — it reminded me of a fanatic 



(ILTncontientfonaU0m 85 

of the same sect that I knew (but this was more 
than twenty years ago — he's dead now) who wished 
for a chest of drawers, and ordered that the trades- 
man was to do It all himself, and, to get rid of 
the mechanical neatness obtainied by the use of 
modern tools, etc., Ae was to make it entirely with 
an adze ! " 

Changes merely for fashion's sake were abhorrent 
to him, but he welcomed with enthusiasm fresh 
scientific discoveries and new and useful inventions. 
Like Moltke, he was **full of merciless common 
sense," and "held in supreme contempt the unctuous 
humbug to which the modern Pharisee of public life 
treats the people so copiously." He was intensely 
independent and original. He chose to have his 
own notions about things, and, if they were different 
to other men's, then they must go their way and he 
must go his. It did not matter one brass-farthing to 
him what they thought of him. " Our dear, pic- 
turesque, unsophisticated Carlo," as "Punch" calls 
him, would go out and stay at country houses with 
nothing but a small wallet, shaped like and little 
bigger than a candle-box, slung over his shoulders. 
It contained all his necessary luggage, and he was 
not snob enough to carry more just because footmen 
stared or maid-servants laughed. 

This independence and originality were always 
cropping up where least expected. Most of us, 
having been brought up to eggs and bacon or bacon 
and eggs for breakfast, go on to our lives' ends 
satisfied that these viands only, with an occasional 



86 C^arlesf Iteene 



variant in the shape of sausages, porridge, or kidneys, 
were ordained by Providence to be eaten at the early 
morning meal. But Keene liked apple tart for 
breakfast, and did not see why, if he liked it, he 
should not have it ; and, moreover, in houses where 
his tastes were well understood, it became a standing 
dish in his honour. Sweets and sausages too he ate 
together, but perhaps his most original compound 
was a mixture of pork gravy, marmalade, and brown 
sugar. 

Other favourite dishes were haggis, — which, with 
Burns, he regarded as ** chieftain of the Pudding 
Race," — black pudding, and bouillabaisse ; of this 
last we find him writing, '* You remember Thackeray's 
ballad about it (I found it too good), Tm not 
surprised that it inspired his muse " — 

" This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is — 

A sort of soup or broth or brew, 
Or hotch-potch of all sorts of fishes. 

That Greenwich never could outdo ; 
Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffron, 

Soles, onions, garlic, roach and dace ; 
All these you eat at Terri^^s tavern, 

In that one dish of Bouillabaisse." 

The fact was, that early in life his sense of taste 
was much impaired, and the more delicate shades 
of flavour he could not appreciate. Food had to 
be superlatively sweet or bitter to meet with his 
approval, just as he required his tobacco to be 
strong, and rewarded himself for any specially 
satisfactory work with the "dottles" which have 
before been mentioned. 



"Brotfjer Jacob" 87 



The year 1864 saw Keene's first, and last, 
appearance in the " Cornhill Magazine." In the 
July number for that year we find him providing two 
drawings to illustrate an unsigned story, " Brother 
Jacob," by George Eliot, a frontispiece, and an initial 
letter. The story is, on the whole, perhaps a trifle 
laboured and the wit elephantine, but the scene 
which has been chosen for illustration is conceived 
in the novelist s happiest manner, and the illustrator 
has certainly done justice to his subject. Indeed it 
would be hard to conceive of a more satisfactory 
wedding of pen and pencil. The idiot brother, 
Jacob, — whose idiocy by the way was not so intense 
but that he knew witbin a limited range how to 
choose the good and reject the evil, — with his broad 
right hand laid immovable on the guineas, and the 
wretched David who, with courage half returning, 
has left off praying in his craven heart, ** Oh, save 
me this once, and Til never get in danger again!" 
are, I venture to think, masterpieces both of the 
novelist and the artist. The family likeness between 
the sane and the insane faces in the drawing is 
marvellously convincing. The initial letter, too, 
is a good, though perhaps somewhat conventional, 
rendering of the story's conclusion. 

This year (1864) found Keene also illustrating 
"The Legends of Number Nip" for Messrs. Mac- 
millan and Co., translated by Mark Lemon from 
the German of Johann Karl Musaeus, one of the 
earlier collectors of " Volks Mdrcheru' The most 
remarkable of these, and a very admirable pictorial 



C|iarU0 Btene 



rendering it is, is that to "The Headless Rogue and 
the Countess," although it is noticeable that here the 
artist has not read his text quite carefully, and has 




put the impostor upon horseback, where he has no 
business to be. 

The other five pictures, with the exception, per- 
haps, of that to "The Gnome and the Tailor," are 



i 




FIRST DESIGN FOR Vl&NETTF, TO MARK LEMON S JEST BOOK 



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launch. 

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"^rackst for ^our(«g" 89 

hardly in Keene^s best style. Another piece of 
work of a very different character is to be found in 
Mark Lemon's "Jest Book/* published this same year, 
also by Messrs. Macmillan and Co., in the Golden 
Treasury Series. It is a very elaborate and beautiful 
design, bearing little evidence of being by the same 
hand as others of that period, and evidencing the 
marvellous facility with which Keene could turn his 
hand to an unfamiliar method. 

This year, too, was first published in book form 
** Tracks for Tourists," by F. C. Burnand, which 
Keene had originally illustrated under the title of 
** How, When, and Where," in the pages of 
•' Punch." 

Of the illustrations, Mr. Burnand says they are 
some of the very best he ever did. He himself was 
much pleased with them, and frequently wanted me 
to do another series of the same kind. 

The 1864 edition is out of print, but the papers 
and original illustrations have reappeared in the 
recent republication of Mr. Burnand's works, in the 
volume entitled '*Very Much Abroad,'* London, 
1890. 

Keene, who was always ready to try his hand 
at anything, now turned his attention to ''tempera*' 
painting, and persuaded his friend Edwin Edwards 
to do the same, but, I fancy, with no lasting 
results. 

The next year, certainly, there is the following 
item in the diary of the latter, dated September 2, 
1865: **C. K. about to undertake some 'tempera' 



Cfiaclctf Beene 



painting of a medieval subject for a summer- 
house of Birket Foster's at Witley," but this 
seems never to have been carried out, and I find 
no signs of his having proceeded with its practice 
in later years. 




CHAPTER V. 
[864—1868. 

Keene as letter-writer. — " Parson Wilbur." — Mr, and Mrs. 
Edwin Edwards. — Nicknames. — Dunwich. — Letter, August 5, 
1864.— Tigbourne Cottage.— Christmas Carols.— Letter, Jan. 26, 
1865. — " Caudle Lectures." — " Punch " Pocket-book. — His 
Etchings. — The Junior Etching Club. — " The Etcher," — " London 
Society." — Letter, Sep. li, 1867. — Letter, Sep. 13, 1867. — 
Letter, Sep. 20, 1867. — Drawing direct from Nature. — His method. 
— Anecdote from Mrs. Edwards. — ''La Chronique des Arts." — 
The Sausage Machine. — The Type-writer and Mr. Tuer. — "A 
Failure," — Mr. Heseltine's Porch. — Mr. Stewart. 

»]E have now arrived at the point where 
Keene must be introduced to the 
i^^^'flv^) ''c^'^^'' 3s 3 writer of letters. In the 
tJv^^riX^^ main a silent, uncommunicative man, 
retiring promptly into his shell in the presence of 
strangers, listening eagerly to the opinions passed 
by others but rarely expressing his own, it was a 
difificult matter, except for those most intimate with 
him in his every-day life, to get below the surface. 

But far otherwise was it when he put pen to 
paper in corresponding with such a close and 
sympathetic friend as Mr. Joseph Crawhall. 

For fully thirty years a regular correspondence 




92 Ctiarle0 %eene 



was carried on between these two, and it is mainly 
from this that the following selections have been 
made. A large number of other letters I have had 
the privilege of perusing, for example, those to Mr. 
and Mrs. Edwin Edwards, Mr. J. M. Stewart, and 
Mr. Harral, but these were principally the inter- 
mittent notes of friend to friend, by chance parted 
for a week or month, and prompted by the require- 
ments of the occasion, not letters deliberately sat 
down to and penned in lieu of personal intercourse. 
The correspondence with Mr. Crawhall was of so 
voluminous a character that the task has been diffi- 
cult of making a sufficiently representative and yet 
not too abundant selection. 

The biographer, enthusiastic over the character 
with which he is dealing, is always in danger of 
boring the casual and, perhaps, not enthusiastic 
reader. I hope it will be found that I have success- 
fully resisted the temptation to over diffijseness, and, 
at the same time, have not unduly limited the output 
of what to the all-round dilettante and the thorough- 
going musician must, I think, prove a mine of 
delightful and chatty information. 

''It was," says old Parson Wilbur, holding forth 
on the subject of letters, ** it was to gratify the two 
great passions of asking and answering that episto- 
lary correspondence was first invented." Then, as 
all who have read their ** Biglow Papers" know, or 
ought to know, he goes on to state that, ** first, there 
are those which are not letters at all " (which sounds 
something like ** concerning snakes in Iceland, there 



(EDtoin (Ctitoar&0 93 



are no snakes in Iceland ") ; " that, secondly, there are 
letters interesting for the sake of the writer or the 
thing written ; and that, thirdly, there are letters con- 
taining curious gossip," and so on, and so on. 

Keene's letters have the double advantage of 
being qualified to take their places in both of these 
last categories, interesting and valuable as they are, 
alike as giving us an insight into the nice inquisi- 
tiveness of his mind, as well as for the scrupulous 
accuracy of the curious information with which they 
are filled. 

In 1864 Keene was on the fullest terms of inti- 
macy with Mr. Edwin Edwards and his wife, an 
intimacy which continued uninterruptedly while life 
lasted. He was a constant visitor at their house, 
and took the liveliest interest in the artistic work for 
which his friend had sacrificed a prominent legal 
position. In him and his wife he discovered a 
sympathetic appreciation, which was one of the 
greatest happinesses of the last half of his life. The 
best of good fellowship and reciprocal sincerity were 
characteristics of this delightful intercourse. To 
Keene, always fond of giving his friends pet names, 
Mr. Edwards was ever spoken of as ** The Master," 
just as Edward Fitzgerald was ** The Literate " and 
Mr, Stacy Marks ** The Ornithologist." Of Mrs. 
Edwards, for whom he had the greatest admiration 
and affection, he shows his high appreciation, humo- 
rously alluding to her on one occasion to her husband 
as **your seven-twelfth." 

Writing of his visits to them on the Suffolk coast, 



94 Ctdrle0 lieene 



he says : " I enjoy Dunwich so much, I can't help 
talking of next year directly I leave it." Here the 
Edwards' kept open house, and Keene constantly 
availed himself of the standing invitation to get a 
few days relaxation in their congenial company/ It 
was a terrible shock to him, some years later, when 
his friend was reported to be suffering from a much- 
dreaded disease. He would not believe it, and wrote 
with an impetuous optimism, *' Curse the doctors ! . . . 
What next ! I believe it is doubted whether there 
is such a disease, and whether it is not an invention 
of man's common enemy, the Faculty ! " ^ 

The first complete letter, with the exception of 
the two of very early date given in the first chapter, 
which I have to present to my readers refers mainly 
to the tempera painting mentioned above. Keene 
rarely put any dates to his letters, and, where only 
discoverable from the postmarks on the envelopes, 
they shall be inserted in brackets. 

To Edzuin Edioai'ds, Esq. 

*'55, Baker Street. 

{^August 5, 1864.] 

'* Dear Edwards, 

*' I would fain have snapped my fingers at duty 
and my responsibilities and have joined you to-night, 

^ Of them Edward Fitzgerald wrote : " Edwards was compara- 
tively a friend of late growth — he and his brave wife ; these two, 
and their little Dunwich in summer, were among my pleasures, 
and will be, I doubt, among my regrets." — Letters and Literary 
Refuains of Edivard Fitzgerald^ vol. i., p. 447. 

" Mr. Edwards lived until September 15, 1879. 



%tmptva 95 



but have still a little conscience left. I must get 
forward with some * Punch ' work, and shall then be 
able to truant the easier. I saw a friend of mine 
from Witley yesterday, and he told me Stewart 
was looking out still for a lodging for me there, and 
had hopes of one soon, so perhaps I may go there 
for a week or so soon. 

'* I called on Telbin yesterday about the Tempera, 
and learnt a good deal about it. He says you can 
get colours in powder that have been already ground 
in spirits, and that this is the more convenient, as 
you can set your palette with these colours dry, 
whereas the colours you grind yourself, as they are 
wet, look darker on the palette than they will appear 
in the picture — on the other hand, they are more 
expensive, being sold by the ounce, etc. They are 
to be got at Brodie's in Long Acre, or any colour- 
men's except the swell ones. You can get canvas 
of various widths, six or eight feet some ; you don't 
care for a join down the middle of your landscape, I 
suppose ? You get a frame, nail the canvas on as 
tight as you can, and then size it — half size and half 
water — this tightens it still more. When it's dry 
you prime it with whitening, making a paste of this 
with water, and then adding * double size,' />., size 
merely melted. When this is dry, draw in with your 
charcoal stick, and cfi avant! If you buy the regu- 
lar distemper colours, which of course are much 
cheaper than those mentioned above, you must 
grind them, and a small mill Telbin showed me cost 
jC^ ^os. If you were coming to town we could call 



96 Charles Heene 



on old Telbin, and you could learn all you want to 
know in no time. However, I'll see about these 
colours for you if you like, and get whatever you 
want sent down, but keep all dark till you've done 
something, if you can. 

" Yours very truly, 

" Charles S. Keene. 

" If I were you I would find out old Wright — he 
might be of some service, and is a nice old fellow, I 
believe. 

" I send you a bit of the sort of canvas." 

This letter contains a very charming sketch of his 
friend employed upon a canvas about fifteen feet 
high, illustrating the manner in which certain neces- 
sary instruments should be used. 

The year 1865 found Keene making what was, 
for him, a great departure. His friend Mr. Birket 
Foster, who had at this time built for himself a 
beautiful house at Witley, had removed thither from 
Tigbourne Cottage, close by, which he had pre- 
viously occupied. This cottage Mr. Foster still 
rented, in order that he might make sure of the 
presence of an agreeable and congenial occupant, 
and nothing delighted him more than the opportunity 
of sub-letting it to Keene, thus securing his friend as 
a frequent neighbour. Here Keene did much of his 
work, running down to it as often as he could get 
out of town, and not failing to assert his uncon- 
ventionalism by always passing his nights in a 
hammock. 



faMimlU Herter 



97 



Facsimile of Letter to Mr. Edwin Edwards, vide 

p. 94 et seq. 









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98 Ctiarle0 Heene 





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Ctri0tma0 Carols loi 

Of Witley he writes to Mrs. Edwards : " The 
stillness here after London is delicious. The only 
sound is the ring of the village blacksmith's hammer 
in the distance or the occasional cluck of a hen, and 
the wind roars through the trees of a night, which 
lulls me pleasantly to sleep." 

Many a blue-jacket, who was a boy at the " King 
Edward's School" in that neighbourhood, will re- 
member the long, lank figure of the artist, and his 
deep bass voice, as he joined them there one 
Christmas singing their midnight carols round the 
village, headed by the Chaplain with a lantern 
belted on him to read his part by — *'a stout old 
priest with a Friar Tuck waddle and a trolling bass 
voice, 

A picturesque group they must have been as they 
went from house to house, the boys all wrapped in 
their blankets, and the pure white snow as a back- 
ground. 

To Alexander Macdo7iald, Esq. 

** Tigbourne Cottage, 

" Witley, Surrey. 

''Jan, 26 [1865]. 

" Dear Macdonald, 

** I won't fail to lecture your friend on his back- 
sliding as a correspondent, and that quite as seriously 
as if I myself were a second Horace Walpole for 
readiness to scribble. This is a pleasant retreat to 
fly to for a day or two from the row and turmoil of 
London, and gives my friends too the opportunity of 
calling it my * country house,' and the pleasure of 



102 C|iarle0 ISteene 



making me wince by hinting at the wealth that 
enables me to afford such a luxury ! 

" It's a bosky-copsey country, very picturesque and 
English, with just a suggestion (compared to Scot- 
land) of hills on the horizon (the Hog's Back), but 
from there being so many trees, when the glass 
does fall the rain comes down with a vengeance. 
Last night there was a furious gale, which kept 
everybody awake but me. My couch is a hammock, 
which wraps round me so comfortably, it's like 
'poppies and mandragora.' We've a small aris- 
tocracy of artists too down here, — Birket Foster, 
Burton, Watson and Jones, — and amongst our sur- 
roundings there's a good deal of fun to be picked up. 
That reminds me of an extract from a catalogue of 
a country auction down here the other day. Among 
the books were these two lots : — 

No. 20. — Mill on Liberty, 
„ 21. — Do. on The Floss! 

'* They have their 'girds' at us too. I heard of 
a Belle of the nearest town remarking of the curious 
manners and customs of those artists, that she had 
actually seen them in Society in evening dress up to 
the waist, and a velveteen jerkin and any-coloured 
necktie a-top !=«=### 

** Yours very sincerely, 

"Charles S. Keene." 



This same year saw the republication of Douglas 
Jerrold's ** Caudle Lectures" by Messrs. Bradbury 
and Evans in book form, with illustrations by Charles 



"Caubit l-rcturesC* 




STUDY FOR FRONTISPIECE TO THE "CAUDLE LECTURES." 

Keene. Surely of these it is unnecessary to speak. 
There is not a picture among them which portrays 
the poor old reprobate Caudle bearing up as best he 



104 Ctiarle0 lEieene 



could against the terrible scolding Nemesis which 
awaited him at home throughout his married life, 
which one does not dwell upon with infinite pleasure, 
and, once passed, long to turn to again. Were it 
my purpose to criticise the work of Charles Keene 
in this place, twenty pages would be too cramped 
a space in which to give a proper consideration 
to these wonderful illustrations. They are so 
astonishingly convincing, and there is such a direct- 
ness and absence of effort in the treatment, that it is 
difficult at first to realize them as works of art at all, 
and not to look upon them rather as some natural 
product, faultless because brought about by the hand 
of a perfect comprehension. There is in them a 
catching of Nature at her most humorous moments, 
without a particle of exaggeration, which is, when 
understood, perfectly astonishing. But I run the risk 
of being accused of exaggeration, and refer every 
lover of pictorial art to the careful study of the 
illustrations for himself. 

The following year, 1866, witnessed Keene's first 
appearance with " Mrs. Professor Fogey's Reading 
Class : Subject — Wonders of the Deep," in the pages 
of ** Punch's Pocket- Books," issued from 85, Fleet 
Street, for many years, but now abandoned. For a 
long time subsequently he annually designed the 
long, coloured folding frontispieces, the woodcuts 
scattered throughout the text being mainly executed 
by Tenniel and Linley Sambourne. Curious and 
interesting as are some of these coloured plates, they 
cannot, I think, be considered on the whole good 



"leuncft" leocket BookiJ 105 

specimens of his work. Most of them deal with 
the never-failing war of the sexes, such as ** Mr. 
Punch's School of Cookery/' *' Courtship and Con- 
jugality," 1874 ; " The Androgynoeceum Club," 1875 
"The Modern Babylonian Marriage Market," 1876 
and ** The Autumnal (Matrimonial) Manoeuvres,' 
1877: or the struggles of the weaker sex towards 
emancipation, such as '* The Ladies' New Gallery," 
1870; "Sweetness and Light or Science in her 
Silver Slippers," 1873; and ** Mr. Punch's Reading 
Party," 1878.* Some, doubtless, are very much 
better than others, and, if all were equal to " The 
Modern Babylonian Marriage Market," and " The 
Androgynoeceum Club," we should be inclined to 
rank them as well worthy of his genius. Most, 
however, give one the idea of being but the tasks 
of a perfunctory and unsympathetic imagination. 

On the other hand, the series of portraits of ** Mr. 
Punch," with which the title-pages are adorned, are 
about as good as good can be, whether posing as 
Cupid holding the cord to the human pigeon-trap at 
the matrimonial Hurlingham, or as Sentry mounted 
guard over the pocket-book, or as armoured Knight 
pricking forth to tourney, or as Postilion tootling on 
his horn, or as splendid Flunkey ogling the lady 
whose fair shoulders he is privileged to cloak. 
These quaint figures show us Keene's whimsical 
fancy at its best, and compel us to accept them 

* The original drawing for this was exhibited, with some other 
of Keene's sketches for " Punch," at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Arts 
Association Exhibition that same year, Nos. 649 and 650. 



io6 Ctarle0 lieene 



as portraits. Before leaving the pocket-books it 
should be mentioned that most of these plates were 
etched by Keene upon the copper, some few, how- 
ever, being drawn with pen and ink, and engraved 
upon the wood by Mr. Swain. These trifles, of 
course, are not to be ranked with Keenes more 
important etchings, which of late years attracted so 
much attention in Paris, and which led to his being 
placed by M. Beraldi among ** Les graveurs du 
dix-neuvieme siecle/' as mentioned above. Writing 
of these in ** L' Artiste ** for May, 1891, M. Bracque- 
mond says : *' Par la libertt^, Tampleur de leur dessin 
et de leur execution, ces graveurs doivent ^tre 
classes parmi les eaux-fortes modernes du premier 
rang." Unfortunately they are not obtainable in the 
market. Indeed, with two exceptions, none of his 
serious etchings seem ever to have been given to the 
public. The first of these exceptions is an etching 
of a scene during the Plague, signed C. Keene, in 
** Passages from Modern English Poets, illustrated 
by the Junior Etching Club," published by Day and 
Son, lithographers to the Queen, 1862. It is a 
very fine plate, representing a Cavalier with cloak 
held close to face, stealing shuddering through the 
deserted streets, in those awful days when ** Friends 
in the distance watched for friends ; watched that 
they might not meet." 

The second is a very beautiful and tender etching 
of Southwold Pier, which appeared in the March 
number, 1881, of "The Etcher,'* an Art magazine 
then edited by Mr. H. M. Cundall, but now extinct. 



(Ctc^fngd 107 



Keene never thought much of his capabilities as an 
etcher, and, as has been seen, was astonished, almost 
dismayed, that his name should be included amongst 
the etchers of the nineteenth century. 

He looked upon his prosecution of the art as a 
pastime rather than as a serious occupation. Indeed 
so casually did he treat his plates that it is on record 
that at least one was spoilt in the biting-in by the 
pouring on of the turpentine in place of the acid ! 
As to the printing of them, unlike most etchers, who 
think they alone can do full justice to their plates, he 
thought it not worth the bother, and would delegate 
this task to his friend Mrs. Edwards. Nor indeed 
could he have done much better, for, although an 
amateur, I think I am right in saying there is hardly 
a better printer than this lady to be found in London. 

In this year too Keene was helping to illustrate 
the Christmas number of ** London Society," for 
which publication he continued to work for several 
years. In the Christmas number for 1870 we find 
him using himself as a model in the initial ** W " on 
p. 39, and in the half-page drawing, p. 45. 

In September of the next year Keene, who had 
been staying with the Edwards at Cliff Cottage, 
Southwold, wrote as follows : — 

To Mrs, Edwin Edwards, 

"55, Baker Street. 

** Thursday. 

{September 12, 1867.] 

'* Dear Mrs. Edwards, 

" Thank you for sending the letters; I got them 



io8 Cfjarlw ISleene 



this morning. The face of Nature seemed to fall 
yesterday directly I had left Southwold ; the horses 
toiled along as if they were dragging something very 
heavy, and the sky loured and the rain fell all in 
accord with my spirits as we crawled into Darsham. 
Here s an original distich to head a chapter of the 
Master's book on Suffolk : ' Lives there a man with 
heart so light, That Darsham couldn't daunt his 
sprite ! * When the train came up I thought I was 
lucky in finding a carriage with a nice, gloomy, 
unconversational-looking man in it, and thought to 
enjoy a hard smoke and no talking all the journey, 
but at Saxmundham a lady got in with an old nurse 
and dreadfully intelligent child. In the whispered 
conversation between the mother and someone who 
came to see her off, I caught the words, *as surly 
as the other/ IVe no doubt this applied to me, 
and that they had been scowled away from the other 
carriages and had taken ours as a last resource. 
More ladies, till the compartment was full of *em ; 
and I found the gloomy man was an impostor, for 
he made himself agreeable and 'talked conversa- 
tion/ I couldn't. This journey reminded me of a 
story I read the other day in * Blackwood ' ; you'll 
find it in the June, July, and August numbers. 
You'll know it by its being a hard name, which I 
forget. I advise you to get it from your library. I 
thought the beginning, as much as I read of it, 
very good. Your bulletin, though short, was very 
interesting, and to-day, here, the morning is as glad 
and bright an one as we've had, and I've been 




"'SDtloae palliD (Bing:ecbrea60 " 109 

seeing you in my mind's eye. I've kept one of 
those pallid gingerbreads you gave me, and run a 
string through it and hung it up in my studio * for 
remembrance/ I should like to have made one at 
the moonlight sketchings. I want the Master to 
worm out for me from Jeaffreson, who reviewed 

*s last poems in the * Athenaeum ' a short 

time ago ; he can say he wants the information 

for a friend (but don't mention my name). 

is an old friend of mine, and as the critique was a 
very flattering one she is naturally curious to know 
who wrote it, and for the same reason Jeaffreson 
may not object to say. The Master can bring up 

the subject of poetry, female poetry criticism, 's 

in particular, etc., etc. Tell Mrs. C I posted 

her letters carefully. Entre nous, get to sit to 

A. Garrod, he'll get some good photographs of her ; 
and get him to do her head a good size, and without 
her hat as well as with, he won't have such a chance 

again of such a beauty ; and tell E to mind he 

does not break those negatives. Commend me to 

with my kindest regards, and say I hope she 

will diligently finish her picture and etch a plate, for, 
if it's (not) too presumptuous, after overlooking her 
at work I hold her as rather a pupil. I'll write to 
the Master next week, but have only time now to 
save this post ; but I must thank you again for your 
kindness to me, and so making my stay with you the 
pleasantest holiday I've had for a long time. 

** Yours very sincerely, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



no Ctarle0 lieene 



The ** subject" mentioned in the following letter 
subsequently appeared in " Punch." The sketch, 
as given in the letter, is reproduced in facsimile 
on page 157. It will be found interesting to com- 
pare this with the woodcut of the finished picture on 
page 84 of ** Our People." The ** Shods " mentioned 
were certain wooden huts on the shore, used by Mr. 
Edwards and his friends as studios. 



To Edwin Edwards^ Esq, 

"55, Baker Street. 

" Thursday night. 

{September 13, 1867.] 

" Dear Edwards, 

" I had to finish my note to Mrs. Edwards in 
a hurry to save the post, and forgot two or three 
things. I return your pencil I took away inadver- 
tently ; and will you get Robert to take those leather 
leggings and leave them at Cobb's lodgings with 
C. Keene's compliments and thanks ? They hang 
up in my bedroom. IVe digested that subject 
you gave me — over leaf. Submit it to Jeaffreson, 
because he gave me very kindly a legend for it, but 
Tve shortened it very much. Jot down any other 
subjects that strike you. London seems very dull 
and empty. I don't know yet whether I shall be 
able to do my Scotch trip, but shall if I can. The 
moon is shining brightly now, and Tm with you 

and in fancy, at the * Shods.' For God's sake 

don't set 'em alight, they're combustible places I 




-0 



"aber^tsMieen" m 



should think. If I can do anything for you or Mrs. 

C command me. 

** Yours, 

"Charles Keene." 
To Edwin Edwards, Esq. 

" Ultima Thule, 

*' Aber-r-r-deen, 

" Thursday. 
{^Septembery 20, 1867.] 

*• Dear Edwards, 

** I forget whether in that hurried note I sent 
you just before I started if I thanked you sufficiently 
for your jolly long letter, which I appreciate the 
more because I know how tired and somnolent your 
many hours of hard work in the open air must make 
you. I received your present of the basket of mush- 
rooms just before I started. I suppose Mrs. C 

left it as I wasn't in at the time. I handed the con- 
tents to my housekeeper, except the specimen of 
Agaricus Procerus, which I hung up. I was rather 
nervous afterwards, thinking, in case she eat them 
all, and there being some maglignant ones amongst 
them, that I might be recalled to town on 
* Crowner s Quest,' but was reassured yesterday 
on seeing the * Times * newspaper. I had a very 
fatiguing journey up to Edinbro', as I had not the 
length of the carriage seat to myself, and can't sleep 
doubled up. I had not a very easy night's rest. It 
was a very fine sight coming into Newcastle about 
half-past four, just getting light ; I think the finest 
grey picture I ever saw. I've never seen anything 



112 C^arleo %eene 



like it ever painted, and for a day-dawn picture I 
don't think you'd find a more elig — (don't know how 
to spell it)— a more convenient place in Christendom. 

** Got to Edinbro' about half-past eight ; admired 
the coup cCoieul (sic) (that's a suspicious word), and got 
a wash and shave and breakfast, and then, with some 
difficulty, from not being acquainted with the Scot- 
tish language, found my way a few miles by rail to 
my friend ; loafed and dined with him and came 
back to Edinbro' ; walked about the city at dusk — 
then it was very fine and mysterious, certainly — and 
at nine o'clock at night started for this place, getting 
here dead beat at three a.m. My friends here, 
Mr. and Mrs. Christie, are most congenial people, 
and quite of our sort. I've been loafing about 
looking at this curious granite city. One thing 
about the place interests me particularly. They 
only build sailing ships here, and the hammering of 
the wooden bolts, instead of the iron (and they only 
build wooden ships), is most musical to my ear. It's 
a caller air here though, and I've not sketched much. 
I lack your example rather, I fancy. We are going 
a jaunt to Dunottar Castle on Saturday, and on 
Tuesday next I return to Edinbro' for a couple of 
■days, and then I shall come back by boat, and if we 
pass the Suffolk coast in the daytime I shall look 
out for your poles with the best glass I can borrow 
in the ship, and wish I was ashore, I dare say. 

*' I hope you are getting on well with the Walbers- 
wick picture, and find my outlines ' right side up ' 
-Still. And also, who had my valuable assistance 



9^u0tc 113 

in that respect, will take advantage of it by turning 
out a 'liner* for next year's Exhibition. Persuade 
her to make an etching, and recollect my name's 
down for proofs. 

** I send you a little * lied ' we must learn by heart, 
parodied from recollection, and as I know nothing 
of German, won't answer for the spelling of the 
words. You must learn the first part. 

** I dined at Holland Park on Saturday ; it appears 

all our music was sent from thence. Tell I mean 

to make myself quite perfect in that * Bianca Lura' by 
the next time we meet. I'll send you those trios I 
spoke to you about, and when my * liberty ' 's over 
and I settle down in town I'll diligently get up my 
guitar part in view of future concerts. Will you ask 
Mrs. Edwards to get Court to print me a very dcU'k 

copy of that photo group in which 's face comes 

against the book, as unless it is printed very strongly 
the outline of the profile is lost. I hope this letter 
will reach you by Sunday, but I don't know how the 
post goes here ; and I will drop you a line directly I 
get back, which will be about the end of next week. 
I'm just now going to the market in the * Place,' 
to pick up some properties and mementoes of this 
northern capital, and shall bring something home for 
you. And with kindest regards to Mrs. Edwards — 
I hope she is better — 

** I am, yours very sincerely, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

Writing to Mr. Edwards this same month, he says : 

I 



114 cyarles Iteene 

" I have a subject for which I want a surtout coat, so 
I will make a study of your best." This will serve 
as a good text from which to say a few words as to 
one prevailing characteristic of Keene's method. 

It was an unvarying rule with him, where in any 
way practicable, to draw direct from nature, or if 
not from nature, from the model. As we have seen 
above, in his Strand studio a prominent object was 
the large cheval glass, before which he would pose 
as his own model, and, after hisdeath, large parcels 
of these studies, done chiefly upon the insides of old 
envelopes which he had treasured up for the purpose, 
were found amongst his papers. Any envelopes 
would not do, and he chiefly affected certain brown- 
coloured ones, which he received in correspondence 
with Mr. Swain. 

Always on the look out for subjects for his pen 
which might prove useful for many years he made a 
practice of carrying an exciseman's ink-bottle tied 
on to his waistcoat button, and a sketch-book in his 
pocket, so as to be ready to catch any passing inci- 
dent, face, or expression. The length to which he 
would carry this conscientious determination of his 
to do his best, even in the drawing of the most trivial 
object, is well illustrated by the following storj', told 
to me by Mrs. Edwards. 

One day a lady friend, a lecturer upon hygienic 
costume, said to her, *' I wonder whether Mr. Keene 
would draw me a picture of a down-trodden, high- 
heeled shoe, to illustrate my subject." Mrs. Edwards 
said she would see. Accordingly the next time he 



at Street Cornerd 115 

came to Golden Square, where she then lived, she 
made the request. 

** Very well," said Keene ; " but I must have a 
high-heeled shoe to do it from." 

*• Oh, you can do it well enough out of your head," 
said Mrs. Edwards ; '*and, besides that, IVe not got 
such a thing in the house." 

** Indeed," answered Keene, ** I can do no such 
thing. Get me one of the servants' shoes. They 
probably wear high heels." 

Nor would he consent to make the drawing 
until this was done, and an old boot duly placed 
in position on the piano, when he set to work and 
produced a most admirable portrait of it, which is 
now preserved as a great treasure by the lucky 
recipient. 

Whether the writer in ''La Ckronique des Arts'' 
is right in saying that he would often induce a 
hansom cabman to yield up his driving seat (I pre- 
sume whilst on the rank) to avoid the inconvenience 
of making his studies of the streets amidst their 
jostling crowds, I cannot say, although it is easily 
believable ; but certain it is that he was often to be 
found standing at street corners and shop-windows 
coolly and unconcernedly jotting down his pictorial 
notes. One day a friend found him, in broad day- 
light, in Regent Street, drawing from the pavement 
a new sausage machine, but recently invented. Not 
shirking publicity where, as in this case, he found 
it necessary to his work, he nevertheless gladly 
embraced the opportunity of being protected from 



i 



Cbaclts liteene 



the vulgar gaze, and begged his friend to conceal 
him. This, by means of an umbrella, he was able 




TO TYPEWRITER. 



to do, and under its welcome shelter Keene worked 
away until the study was completed. 

Apropos to this scrupulous regard of his for accu- 



Capacftj? for tEakfitg ^alntl 117 

racy of detail, we find him writing to Mr. Tuer : 
'* Have you a figure of a type- writer, or can you give 
me a rough sketch, this view ? I've been looking 
through the trade circular advts. and can't find one." 
A facsimile of the sketch enclosed is given opposite, 
surely a wonderful production, dashed off as it was 
merely as an indication of an accidental requirement. 
The woodcut from the finished picture is to be found, 
entitled **A Failure," on page 87 of "Punch" for 
February 25, 1888. 

But, perhaps, the most charming example of the 
length to which he would carry this consistency of 
method is to be found in a photograph taken by 
Mr. Heseltine, with whom Keene was staying at 
the time, of the artist perched on the summit of a 
high step-ladder, for the purpose of getting a study 
of the porch of his host's house from the particular 
angle required for his picture. 

Writing to his friend Mr. Stewart, September i, 
1878, he says : ** I shall try and do that subject you 
suggested of the Cricket Match and Bull Terrier, 
but I don't know the game. As you're on the spot, 
and Charlie is a player, you know all about it. 
Send us a plan where the * legs ' and fielders stand. 

Perhaps Willie F will know." And then, in a 

postscript : ** I only know where the batsmen and 
bowlers stand." Here follows a plan of wickets and 
batsmen and bowlers, a// w7'ong. 
. These must suffice as examples of Keene's infinite 
capacity for taking pains. I cannot refrain, however, 
before bringing this chapter to a close, from quoting 



Ii8 



€^atUss TSittnt 



some excellent advice given to the same friend, 
which incidentally shows the importance he attached 
to the general adoption of this painstaking method. 
" What do you mean," he writes, " that you have 
been working, but without success ? Do you mean 




SKETCH OF HIMSELF IJf LIEU OF SIGNATURE TO A LETTER. 



that you cannot get the price you ask ? then sell 
it for less. till, by practice, you shall improve, and 
command a better price. Or do you only mean that 
you are not satisfied with your work ? nobody ever 

was that I know, except J W . Peg away ! 

While you're at work you must be improving. . . , 
Do something from Nature indoors when you cannot 
get out, to keep your hand and eye in practice. 



•*l&cff atoap!" 119 

Don't get into the way of working too much at your 
drawings away from Nature." 

On the opposite page is a portrait of himself, 
drawn in lieu of signature to a letter to Mr. Edwards, 
on November 23 of this yean' 

' Amongst the numerous sketches of C. K. by himself in 
" Punch " may be mentioned those at the head of the Index of 
the first half-yearly volume of this year (1S67); at commence- 
ment of vol. Ivii., 1869 ; ditto, vol. Ixxiii., 1877 ; in " Harmony," 
June 18, 1881 ; in "Walton's Complete Bungler," September 10, 
1881, and in "Number One," February 11, 1888; and amongst 
the portraits of him by Mr. du Maurier, those on January 20, 
1866, and October s, 1867. 



rfTr 




CHAPTER VI. 

1869— 1 87 1. 

Bagpipes.— Letter, Oct. 26, 1869.— Mr. J. Sands.— His Re- 
miniscences of Keene. — Extracts from letter to Mr. Crawhall on 
Bagpipes. — The Practice-stick. — Breton Bagpipe. — Northumber- 
land Pipe reeds. — The Beethoven of Bagpipers. — Dentistry and 
mouthpieces. — Enthusiastic Piper in Hyde Park. — Dr. Ellis, 
F,R.S. — Mr. A. J. Hipkins. — Experiments with Scheibler Tono- 
meter. — The Stockhom. — His godson a Piper.— Bagpipes at the 
Siamese Legation. — A Hoax. — Life at "Tig." — Letter, Jan. 9, 



yHE year 1869 was marked by the 
appearance of a new musical craze. 
It was in this year that Keene first 
took up, with his usual enthusiastic 
thoroughness, the study of an instrument, whose 
archaic origin and caviare quaintness were peculiarly 
attractive to a man of his fantastic turn. 

As time went on, and he grew more and more 
practically familiar with them and studied their fas- 
cinating history, his love for the bagpipes amounted 
almost to a passion. His letters, as will be seen, 
teem with allusions to them, and are so informed 
with a genuine enthusiasm that they almost inspire 




Baffp(pe0 121 



the reader, for the time being, with a similar zeal. 
Their origin ; their varieties, from the powerful 
and elaborate Irish to the small and sweeter-toned 
Northumbrian ; their different parts, the keys, pipe- 
reeds, drones, and chaunters ; their different scales ; 
their makers and the makers of their different parts ; 
the music written for them, the marches, pibrochs, 
strathspeys, and reels, all come in for animated dis- 
cussion and nice comparison. 

The first mention of his new "craze" is to be 
found in the following letter, so breezy and delightful 
that it shall be given in full. 

To Edwin Edwards, Esq. 

" 55, Baker Street. 

{^October 26, 1869.] 

" Dear Master, 

** I have not had much to write about since you 
left, and not much leisure from work, but now I'm 
hard at the pocket-book etching, and, as I don't 
torture my eyes with this by gaslight, I take the 
pleasant opportunity of having a * crack ' with you. 
1 hear you've had bad weather for out-door work, 
not bad enough to stop you though, I apprehend, 
but it must have been irksome to your pupils. I 
hope the ladies are all well. I'm sorry (selfishly) to 
hear you think of wintering again at the Land's End, 
so we loafers will miss our pleasant afternoon's half- 
hour in Piccadilly, but 1 fancy you are impatient to 
test your moveable studio. I've had no holiday 
since you left, haven't even been down to Tig. 



122 C|)arle0 lieene 



This aggravated me somewhat as the summer 
waned, but Tve got over it now. I haven't learnt 
a tune on my * great bagpipes ' yet (I forget whether 
you know of this new musical vagary of mine), but 
have made acquaintance with an eccentric old Scot 
who is an enthusiastic lover of that dulcet instru- 
ment, has a collection of them and fiddles and 
guitars, but the pipes and Banffshire tunes (!) before 
all. I was saying to him that, admiring the pipes as 
I did, perhaps from the threatening character of the 
instrument, it was better suited to * the field,' in other 
words, ' out o* doors/ Oh ! he said, he liked 'em 
in a small room, with the floor shaking under your 
feet and the windows rattling with the vibration. 
Again about pipes : MacCallum (he's back) tells me 
his father's piper, who makes them besides, has 
fabricated a set with very small drones, so that they 
sound like a nest of hornets buzzing an accompani- 
ment ! That must be very jolly. Don't forget to 
send me any pleasantry that may have come under 
your *ken'; — may help me in the Almanac. I 
heard of an artist subject the other day — a land- 
scape painter at work out of doors ; large canvas 
and palette, etc. ; two countrj^men looking on. Says 
one, * He's a-paintin' two pictures at oncet ! I 
likes the one he's got his thumb through the best ! 

I called on Mrs. C yesterday ; Lucas and his 

little bride were there. is going to learn 

Persian of a learned Pundit. It appears that Persian 
poetry is very fine. The only specimen I could 
recollect was a translation of a love-song, beginning 



3|. &dnDd 123 

* My heart is like a piece of meat put down to roast ' I 
Old Lascarides said, although it sounds queer in 
translation it might be very beautiful in the original ; 
so it might, but it isn't for the likes of me and my 
bagpipes to gird at anybody else in the pursuit of 

learning. Mrs. C is still on the look-out for a 

house ; they talk about one at Kensington. Mills 
has thrown over strings and taken violently to the 
flute — wants to get up a quartette of four of 'em in 
my rooms! Tm indifferent hardy, but I fancy I 
should like to have an extra flannel shirt to sit in 
such a thorough draught ! ' Won't you winter in 
London now? Give my kindest regards to Mrs. 
Edwards and the Paintresses. 

^'^Adichat.' 

'* Yours ever, 

- C K." 

Some seven years before this Keene had made 
the acquaintance of Mr. J. Sands, subsequently the 
author of ** King James's Wedding, and Other 
Rhymes," illustrated by C. K. This gentleman has 
kindly sent me some recollections of a friendship 
which lasted for many years. Dealing largely, as 
they do, with Keene's earliest devotion to the bag- 
pipes, they will find fitting insertion here. 

"In the winter of 1862," writes Mr. Sands, *' I 
accompanied a friend to a dingy studio in a back 
court in Clipstone Street, where I was introduced to 
the tenant, Charles Keene. He was then in the 
noon of life and full of vigour. He was tall, and 

* This afterwards took definite shape in a " Punch " picture. 



k 



124 Cfiarle0 Heene 



walked with a stalwart step. He had a finely-formed 
head, covered with a crop of short jet-black curly 
hair. His face, if not classical, was striking. His 
eyebrows were thick and black, and his eyes were 
open, grey, and luminous. 

"He had a trick, when telling a funny story, of 
winking the wrong way — of opening one eye instead 
of shutting it. His nostrils were large, and looked, 
when he was particularly animated, as if he were 
snorting. I never saw him in a rage, but can imagine 
that if he had been sufficiently provoked he would 
have been savage enough. The acquaintance thus 
commenced ripened into friendship, which endured 
until the close of his life — for he was very faithful 
and constant in his attachments. I then resided in 
Albany Street, Regents Park, and he would call 
pretty often and invite me to a Bohemian party in 
his studio, which was not far distant. He himself 
was temperate to a fault, both in eating and drinking, 
but at such convivial meetings he would circulate 
the bottle, and be the gayest of the gay. 

"He smoked incessantly, and generally sat clasp- 
ing his ankles, with his feet on the chair. When I 
left London I met him frequently at the home of a 
mutual friend at Reigate, whither he went to spend 
the Sunday. On one occasion I was one of a party 
who paid him a visit at Witley, where he had a 
cottage, to which he would occasionally retreat to 
enjoy the country air and the society of Mr. Birket 
Foster and other artist friends. I remember we 
walked to Hazlemere, and that on our return Keene 



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&cotIanti 125 



and I took tea alone in his cottage. After tea he 
sat in shirt sleeves on the sill of the wide-open 
window, twanging a guitar and looking the picture 
of perfect happiness. 

** When I left England for Scotland, and sub- 
sequently for South America, we fostered our 
friendship by frequent correspondence. A letter 
from him (sometimes accompanied by the gift of an 
antique tobacco-pipe) would make a sunshine to me 
in many a shady place. I think (but I have a 
wretched memory for dates) that it was in 1 869 he 
paid his first visit to Scotland and to me. I was 
then residing in a cottage occupied by my mother, 
near Edinburgh. Keene was a good pedestrian, 
and we roamed over the district, on one occasion 
walking as far as Lauder, a distance of about 
twenty-four miles I should guess. He would take 
no refreshments by the way, and reproved me for 
expressing a desire for bread and cheese and a glass 
of ale. Shortly before this visit he had become a 
zealous convert to the bagpipes, a set of which he 
brought with him. I invited some artists with whom 
I was acquainted (amongst others the late G. Paul 
Chalmers) to meet him, and in the evening we all 
went to the garden and engaged in the vulgar game 
of pitch and toss. Keene threw his penny in a half- 
hearted sort of way, and that done, resumed the 
practice of his darling instrument. 

" I think I see him now, a picturesque figure, 
standing under an apple-tree with the drones over 
his shoulder, whilst the group of gamblers kept 



126 C^arle0 Heene 



glancing at him with smih'ng faces. The same 
party, together with others (all Academicians), enter- 
tained him to dinner in an Edinburgh hotel and paid 
him every compliment, but not in their corporate 
capacity. Once that Keene's ears were opened to 
the wild beauty and grandeur of bagpipe music he 
determined to study it thoroughly. Every spare 
moment was devoted to the practice-chanter and 
great Highland pipes, ox Piob vihor, and I am afraid 
the sudden and violent exercise to his lungs did not 
improve his health. 

" I noticed that a writer in a weekly newspaper 
supposed that Keene had selected the bagpipes as 
his instrument from the facility with which it can 
be learned. There could not be a greater mistake. 
The bagpipes (as Keene was well aware) is a most 
difficult instrument to perform on properly. In the 
olden time, when there was a bagpipe college in 
Skye, the pupils required to spend seven years in 
acquiring the fingering of the Piobaircachd ; and 
this was the class of music with which Keene was 
fascinated. He played a few marches, but reels 
were caviare to him. I am afraid that his passion 
for the bagpipes was the real reason of his being 
obliged to leave his studio in Baker Street, as well 
as the first he occupied in Chelsea. To economize 
time he made a dumb chanter from the le^f of a 
chair, and would practise his fingers on it when on 
the top of an omnibus or when conversing with a 
friend. Through me he bought bagpipes of all 
sorts and sizes, and friends presented him with sets. 



^fie Chanter 127 



Mackay's and Macdonald's collections of pibrochs 
he also bought 

" Keene came again to see me in 1871, when I 
was residing in another cottage in the neighbourhood 
of Edinburgh. I remember we walked into town 
on the centenary of Sir Walter Scott, and met a 
procession of circus performers, dressed to represent 
the characters in the novels, a spectacle which made 
Keene smile. There was no popular enthusiasm, 
such as blazed out on the centenary of Burns. At 
the end of the cottage in which I abode there was 
a little lawn, bounded by a wood, and there Keene 
would sit for half a summer day, dressed in knicker- 
bockers and with head uncovered, playing the chan- 
ter. Whilst so engaged he was often interrupted 
by a little maiden named Alice, who handed him 
imaginary tea in beech leaves or inverted mush- 
rooms, at which he did not seem to be at all annoyed. 
On the contrary, he would lay his chanter on the 
music-stand and enter into the childish game with 
the utmost gravity. ' A little more sugar, if you 
please, Alice ; I have a sweet tooth. How very 
refreshing a cup of tea is, to be sure,' etc. I admired 
his good temper. 

•* On his third and last visit to me I remember 
we went together to Hawthornden, and saw Roslin 
Chapel and Castle, and made a trip to the house 
of a friend in Aberdeen. We spent a day at Dun- 
nottar Castle. From that time, which was early in 
the seventies, until last year^ I did not meet him. 

' 1890. 



128 C|)arle0 Heene 



On my return from a trip to Holland in June last I 
happened to be in London, and took the opportunity 
of going, along with a friend, to see him. He was 
sitting in his library, with his feet swollen and resting 
on a chair, and his face shockingly cadaverous — the 
whole man the wreck and shadow of his former self. 
He, however, insisted, our interview being over, on 
showing us to the door, where he stood for a few 
minutes waving his hand in what he evidently 
thought was a last adieu, as it proved to be. 

** Although Keene attained to eminence as a 
humorous draughtsman, I do not think that humour 
was his bent. By nature he was earnest and thought- 
ful, and had fortune so directed he would have 
excelled as a historical painter. But his abilities 
were not limited to art. He would have made a 
name in literature if he had practised it with the 
same assiduity as he did drawing. He possessed 
the faculty of taking infinite pains, of grudging no 
labour, which is said to be the characteristic of 
genius. He read a great deal considering the little 
leisure at his disposal, and what he read he digested 
and remembered. As a friend I always found him 
eager to help me in my aims. For several little 
books I had written he did what he could to promote 
the circulation, and for the last effort of my pen he 
made drawings, spending a fortnight of his precious 
time in the work. In short, he did all he could to 
put a square peg into a round hole. 

"J. Sands. 

** Walls, Shetland." 



Bagpipe ^une0 129 



The following extracts from a long letter to Mr. 
Crawhall, commenced on January 8, but bearing the 
postmark ** March 3, 1876," will show the thorough- 
ness with which he entered into the fascinating 
study of that instrument which ** sings i* the 
nose ": — 

** Have you made any additions to your ' Pea- 
cock's' * collection and mastered the * practice-stick '? * 
I found out a jolly tune the other day that IVe got 
very fond of in Glen's ^ book, ' The Drover Boys.' I 
fancy, from its harping so much on the common 
chord of G, that it must be a Northumberland pipe 
tune. If you would like a beautiful, sad, slow march 
(funeral anthem for bagpipe), as grateful to the ear 
as that ' Battle of Killiecrankie ' is savage, I will 

* This, no doubt, refers to the now practically unprocurable 
collection of Northumbrian music known as Peacock's. A copy 
of this Mr. Crawhall had made the nucleus of a further collection 
of tunes in manuscript. Keene who, with Mr. Chappell and 
other musicians, had it in hand some time, also made considerable 
additions to it. 

* Of this Mr. Crawhall writes : " Glen, in his * Complete Tutor 
for the Great Highland Bagpipe,' tells us * the practice-chanter 
is what the learner commences with. It is more difficult to blow 
than the bagpipes, from having no bag or reservoir to hold the 
wind, but it serves to give the fingering of the instrument without 
the loudness of the bagpipes, and is therefore better adapted for 
playing in a room.* It is, in fact, an instrument of the nature of 
a flageolet in form, and K. either made himself, or had made, a 
dummy model of solid wood, the holes about a quarter of an 
inch deep, which he carried in his pocket, in order to practise the 
fingering of tunes when on the street or elsewhere." 

' ** The Glens," says Sir George Grove, in the " Dictionary of 
Music," **are now chiefly noted for their bagpipes, of which they 
are the recognized best makers." 1879. 

K 



I30 Charles Heene 



copy, and send you for the book, * Lord Lovat's March. 
It's charming. How I should like to hear it played ! 
By- the -by, one of the most comical airs I ever 
found is that * Cow s Courant ' in your book. I can 
hardly play it for laughing. There is one peculiarity 
about our instrument, that one would rather hear it 
played than perform oneself! at least I find it so. I 
have just had the opportunity of getting a Breton 
bagpipe (* Binion'). It is coming from Brest, made 
by one of the best artists of the department. I fancy 
it has only one drone. 1 have asked for a book of 
the tunes they play, but am doubtful if they have 
anything in that way." Here he breaks off for a few 
lines to refer to some commonplace topic, but cannot 
tear himself away for long from the fascinating sub- 
ject. He goes on : ** I suppose, now old R s 

gone, there's nobody to make Northumberland pipe 
reeds. If you know of anybody I wish you would 
let me know. I heard a beautiful player once in 

London, a friend of old R 's from Newcastle, 

but forget his name. He spoke of several gentlemen 
pupils he had — a short, neatly-dressed, jolly-looking 
little man ; I fancy I heard he was a shoemaker. I 
heard from Glen lately that there was a prospect of 
some old MS, pibrochs being published. IVe lately 
learnt two fine ones, * The Massacre of Glencoe' 
and * Macintosh's Lament.' Do you know them ? 
They are in Mackay's collection." 

On another occasion he wrote : ** I want to send 
you another *wail,' the 'lament' of the great Mr. 
C , the Beethoven of pipers. I came across it in 



that novel of Black's, ' The Maid of Sker,' and I 
fancy I've read of its being forbidden to be played 




\ SHEPHERD. 



in some campaign, it made the H ighlanders so 
miserable." 

In February, 1884, again : " I find since the den- 
tist has been at my mouth that I cannot play the 



132 Ct)arle0 Heetie 



great pipes comfortably with a stiff mouthpiece. 
Some day this year I must go up to Edinburgh and 
consult Glen. A piece of flexible tube on the mouth- 
piece will put it right, I fancy." 

These are but examples of what we shall find 
scattered lavishly throughout the letters given later 
on in extenso. As may be imagined, his knowledge 
of the bagpipes led to Keene's being much appre- 
ciated by the country people on his constant visits 
to Scotland, and indeed it was mainly in the 
**land o' cakes" that he found he could practice 
uninterruptedly to his heart s content. As may be 
imagined, in London this pursuit did not meet with 
the appreciation he felt was its due, and there were 
limits even to his braving of public opinion. 

On January 15, 1877, he writes to Mr. Crawhall : 
** I am afraid I am getting rusty with my big pipes 
(though I work with the practice-stick), but Tm in 
hopes of getting up to the Highlands this year, and 
then ril have a spell at them. I met an amateur 
practising in Hyde Park the other night about 
eleven o'clock. I wish I had the cheek to do that." 

Hating as he did notoriety of every kind, it is 
amusing to find, when his beloved pipes are in 
question, how with an almost childish glee he writes 
to Mr. Crawhall that his name has had the honour 
to be connected publicly with them. ** Ellis,'* ^ he 
writes, *' (translator of Helmholtz, etc., member of 
the Dialectical Society, etc.) has been preparing a 
paper for the Royal Society on the scale of the 

' Dr Alexander J. Ellis, B.A., F.R.S. 



Bagpipe "^rial 133 



bagpipe and other ancient eastern instruments.^ 
He says he has brought in my name ! as having 
assisted him ! " 

Associated with Keene and Dr. Ellis in this 
experiment was Mr. A. J. Hipkins, whose name 
alone is sufficient guarantee for the value of any 
investigations made into the peculiarities of ancient 
and modern musical instruments. He has been 
good enough to provide me with the interesting 
quotation from the " Journal of the Society of 
Arts" here referred to. It is somewhat technical, 
and therefore I have thought best thrown into an 
Appendix.^ 

Of the occasion on which these instructive results 
were obtained Mr. Hipkins writes: "The 5th of 
August, 1884, I find, was the evening Keene and I 
dined with Ellis and had the bagpipe trial. This 
trial was made with a Scheibler tonometer of 
tuning forks, comprised in an octave, and tuned 
about four vibrations a second from each other. 
The said tonometer is now at South Kensington, 
in the Science Museum. If you will look in 
Grove's * Dictionary of Music and Musicians,' 
vol. i., article * Bagpipe/ written by the late Dr. 
\V. H. Stone, you will find a description of C. 
Keene's Northumberland pipes, now in my pos- 

* " The bagpipe appears on a coin of Nero, who, according to 
Suetonius, was himself a performer upon it. It is mentioned by 
Procopius as the instrument of war of the Roman infantry." — 
Grove's Dictionary of Music. 

"^ See Appendix C 



Cf)aclts %rent 



session.' C. Keene contributed to the Music Loan 
Collection, comprised in the Inventions Exhibition .. 




V VILLACK RAMPDEN. 



of 1885, the siockhorn (Lowland shepherd's pipe), 
which is also now mine." 

It was about this lime that Keene discovered that 
a godson "of mine has turned out a first-rate piper, 

' These were a dying present from Keene to his friend. 



^lamede l^fperd 135 



and he skirled away the best part of the day 
(Sunday, too, and thorough Scotch mother and 
father !). I call him my pupil, but he found it out 
for himself." This gave him, as may be imagined, 
immense gratification. 

The only further mention of this hobby of 
Keene's, in this place, shall be the following ex- 
tract from an undated letter to Mr. Crawhall. 

** I've had a letter from an official of the Siamese 
Legation! to the effect that H.A.H. the King of 
Siam had bought two sets of bagpipes, and wanted 
to know how his henchmen were to be taught ; that 
they didn't know anything about them, etc., and 
that little Glen had referred them to me ! and 
whether Td call ! This must have been a lark of 
little Glen's! I'll tell you how I have settled it 
after I've answered his letter!" 

History, however, affords no account of any 
denouement, but I am informed by Mr. Frederick 
Vemey, Secretary of the Siamese Legation, that 
foundation for the preliminary statement as to the 
purchase there certainly was. ** A Siamese band," 
he says, **of about a dozen musicians was sent to 
England during the Health Exhibition, and per- 
formed frequently in the Albert Hall and elsewhere 
on their own native instruments. While here two 
of them were taught by a sergeant-major in a 
Highland regiment how to play the bagpipes, and 
I am told they learnt to do so remarkably well. 
The amusing part of it is that Siamese musicians 
are accustomed to sitting down while playing, but 



136 C^arlefi^ JHztm 



the sergeant-major would not allow this, and he 
cleared out a room in a neighbouring house and 
insisted on his pupils marching round and round 
while they were playing, the necessity for which 
they could never understand, but which their in- 
structor considered absolutely essential." 

During these years Keene was a constant visitor 
to *' Tig," as he called the cottage at Witley. Here 
he found the quiet which suited him. Added to 
this, the society of the Birket Fosters at ** The Hill," 
with whom he was on the closest terms of intimacy, 
was a source of unvarying delight. Here, also, 
many other friends from time to time would become 
near neighbours for the summer months, amongst 
whom may be mentioned Mr. J. P. Heseltine, who 
took a cottage near him in this year (1869), and 
Mr. Mills in 1871, besides Mr. J. M. Stewart, who 
became a resident there several years before his 
death. The following letter will give some idea 
of his zest for the amusements which the place 
afforded. 

To Edwin Edwards, Esq. 

" Tigbourne Cottage, 

** Witley. near Godalming, 
" New Year's Day, 1869. 

** Dear Master, 

** I greet you and the mistress very heartily, 
wishing you both many happy New Years, and I 
hope you've had a jolly Christmas ; and in saying 
this to you I mean, principally, fine weather for 
painting. My joviality has been of a more vulgar 



aaiitlep iFestibitiea 137 



character, for instance, the pleasant sensation of not 
being very hard at work after several weeks of * fag,' 
the being in the country, not seeing any newspapers 
and with no means of knowing what day of the week 
it is, and therewithal the regular festivities of the 
season carried on by my friends down here with an 
old-fashioned vehemence that carries you away and 
fatigues you very effectively. I got down here on 
the Monday before Christmas Day, and kept quiet 
and did a little work, and on Christmas Eve the 
guests came in a body down by the afternoon train, 
and we all dined at the Hill at six o'clock in the 
big room. The fiddle and 'arp came at the same 
time, and soon after dinner we set 'em to work, and 
danced till about three in the morning, including 
supper, which is a sine qua non at the Hill whatever 
time you dine. I had heard from the chaplain of 
the King Edward School that they were going to 
sing * noels ' on Christmas morning. The school- 
master has coached up a quire from among the boys, 
and I volunteered as a bass, so I was up again at 
5.30, and we started at six to sing carols under our 
friends' windows. Such a sluggard as I may be 
allowed to boast of this feat. It was pitch dark, so 
we had to read our parts by the light of our lanterns, 
and it was very picturesque. The boys, wrapped 
up in their bed-blankets, were in high spirits, and, 
ye gods ! how they did sing ! I shan't forget the 
sound of those sturdy young trebles in the still 
morning in a hurry ; it was splendid ! Everybody 
was delighted. It was said we were heard a mile 



I3S Ct)arle0 Heene 



off. We had lots of music at the Hill; can't say 
much for the vocal, though we did our best. Little 
Walker with his flute, and Long Jones with his violin, 
and another friend of Foster's with his tenor — it was 
a perpetual * consort of viols.' A general tuning 
was very effective, and then Cooper used to come 
out with 'apples, oranges, ginger-beer, bill of the 
play ' — very excellent fooling ; and so it went 
on — breakfast, lunch, dinner, dancing, supper, and 
then dancing again ; a comic song between whiles, 
followed by a violin concerto. Cooper was very 
great. It was very funny one day ; when the three 
instrumentalists were talking serious shop he took 
up the violin and played very slowly and laboriously 
and out of tune about half a page of the Kreutzer 
Sonata. On the Saturday we all dressed in costume, 
down to the children, and so to dinner and then 
dancing again ; but now the fiddle and 'arp got the 
best of us ; at twelve o'clock they looked at their 
watches, pleaded religious scruples, and gave in! 
Then there was a comparative lull for a few days, 
broken only by the fitful scrapings of Jones and 
Walters in some remote apartment. We flared up 
again last night, and hailed the New Year with the 
usual ceremonies, and to-day all the guests have 
departed, and I've come back to my hermitage here; 
and now leap year is gone, and I'm a bachelor still. 
By -the -by, the widow that chose me last New 
Year s Day was here again, but she didn t renew her 
offer ! . . . I had an ' invite ' to Gloucester Gardens 
for last night, a small party to see in the New Year. 



iMitltf JFestibftJcff 



13? 



When I was there the other day said she had 

not been doing anything the last two or three 
months, neither music nor painting nor anything' 
new! Isn't it a pity! I went to see Jemmy's 
pictures the day before I came down. I tried to 
persuade him to let drive at 'em. I don't believe 
he'll finish 'em till he does, so I told him he may as 
well do it now. I hope he will. Tell me what 
you've done when you write. My housekeeper has 
made me drink some elder wine ; couldn't refuse it, 
wish I'd more moral courage; and the 'culsh' has 
made me feel sleepy and bilious, so I shall say good- 
bye and turn into my hammock. You said you 
should stay at Penberth all December. You may 
have left now, so I shall enclose this to Heseltine 
to send on, as I think I shall stay here till over 
Sunday. 

" ' Adichat.' 
" Ever yours sincerely, 

" Charles S. Keene." 




CHAPTER VII. 

1872 — 1874. 

Photography and wood-blocks, — How a "Punch" picture is 
produced. — Mr. Tenniel's practice. — " Formes." — " Overlays." — 
Keene's inks.— Perplexities of his translators.— Mr. Swain.— King 
James' sea-sickness. — Keene's' hatred of pedantry, — 11, Queen's 
Road West.— Mr. F. Wilfrid Lawson,— An ordinary working day. 
—Letter. October 3, 1873.— The Coquet.— Letter, November 11, 
1873.— Letter, December 19, 1873.— Chodowiecki.— Menzel. — 
Letter, April 1874.— Letter, August 18, r874.— Letter, «>(■« 1874 
—The Siockhorn. 

aP to December, 1872, Keene had always 
made his finished drawings on the 
wood, but now a system was intro- 
duced by which a drawing on paper, 
of whatever size, could be transferred, without the 
artist's aid, in facsimile on to a block of the required 
dimensions. This result was brought about by 
means of photography, and materially altered the 
conditions under which much subsequent work in 
black and white was done. This change had. as we 
shall see, a curious effect upon the reproductions 
in " Punch " of some of Keene's later drawings. 
As in the case of most discoveries, the new 
method was not at once universally employed ; and, 




''^uncf)" aoloob'^Blocto 141 

although a large number of the ** Punch " blocks 
were immediately treated in this manner, it was not 
until some years later that Keene ceased altogether 
to make his drawings directly on to the wood. 

A short account of the processes through which, 
since this innovation, a drawing passes before it 
appears in the pages of '* Punch ** may here be found 
of some interest. 

When a drawing on paper is received from the 
artist, it is at once sent on to the photographer, 
together with a wood-block of the necessary size, 
the drawings being generally made larger than re- 
quired for the printed pages. The photographer 
then takes a negative of the drawing and prints it 
on to the block, the surface of which is specially 
prepared. These blocks are made in several pieces 
bolted together. 

The block, with the print of the drawing upon it, 
is next sent on to the master engraver, who divides 
it into its several sections, giving each piece to a 
Separate hand to cut. This is absolutely necessary, 
as to get the work done within the appointed time. 

For example, Mr. Tenniel, who even now gene- 

lly makes his drawings directly on to the block, 
ends in his cartoon, as a rule, about eight o'clock 

n Friday night. This block has to be unscrewed, 

Engraved, screwed together again, and then finished 

off by the master engravers own hand by nine 

o'clock at the latest on Saturday night. This would 

obviously be impossible without a division of labour. 

The finished block is then handed over to the 



142 CfiarUfit TSittnt 






printer, who takes four or five ** pulls," or " proofs," 
as the first impressions are called, for his ** overlays," 
which latter shall be described later on. The block 
is then put into one of the ** formes" with the type — 
for pictures and letterpress are all printed at the 
5ame time. These ** formes" are two large iron 
frames, called the ** inner*' and the ** outer," each of 
which takes eight pages of** Punch" type and wood- 
<:uts. They have to be ready to begin printing 
from the very first thing on Monday morning ; other- 
wise the required number for the week's issue would 
not be in time for publication. 

Now, as to the use of the ** overlays." It is a 
rough-and-ready method of bringing out the relative 
^* tones " of the different parts of the picture. From 
one of the ** proofs" the printer cuts away all the 
light parts of the picture, from another he cuts away 
all the half-tones, as well as the light parts, and 
from a third he cuts away everything save the solid 
blacks. 

These ** overlays " are then pasted one upon 
another, and fixed on to that part of the cylinder of 
the printing machine which, when revolving over the 
** forme," falls immediately upon the block. By this 
means greater pressure is brought to bear upon that 
portion of the paper which is to receive the impres- 
sion of the woodcut than upon that portion which 
is to receive the impression of the type, and still 
greater pressure upon that portion which is to receive 
the darker than upon that portion which is to receive 
ihe lighter parts of the picture. 



V 



( 



^(0 9l^etljoti0 143 



Keene's drawings suffered more than most in their 
reproduction. Manufacturing, as he did to a large 
extent, his own inks of various shades, he was able 
to obtain effects which no ingenuity could compass 
in the uncompromising blackness of printers' ink. 
To obtain anything approaching an adequate re- 
production of the different values and atmospheric 
effects, elaborate and costly processes would have 
been necessary, altogether out of the question in a 
weekly journal of the nature of ** Punch." What, 
however, was impossible there, has, without stint of 
experiment or expense, been accomplished in these 
pages, and for the first time the public, which is 
unfamiliar with the original drawings, is enabled to 
get an approximate notion of the unique beauty of 
Keene's method. 

In addition to his use of home-made inks, Keene 
worked largely with small pieces of pointed wood 
lashed on to penholders, manufactured in lieu of 
pens by himself. With these he was able to put 
exquisitely soft touches and obtain delicate shades 
of expression, which were the despair of the most 
finished wood-engravers. 

Nor were these the only peculiarities that put 
those who were to translate his work to perplexity. 
About the surface upon which he worked he had 
notions altogether his own. Very many delightful 
effects were produced in the originals by means of 
some peculiarity in the paper, of one particular 
instance of which there will be more to say anon. 

As Mr. Swain writes, *' he had the strongest 



144 C|arle0 %eene 



aversion to drawing-paper or Bristol boards, pre- 
ferring any scrap, even a half sheet of note-paper, 
with a rough grain and coloured by age. He would 
often put in a slight wash and then work over it 
with ink or chalk, and sometimes pencil. In fact, it 
was impossible for any one unacquainted with his 
method to ascertain the means by which he obtained 
these effects.'* 

By the kindness of Mr. Buncle, of Arbroath, the 
publisher of Mr. Sand's ** King James's Wedding," 
illustrated by Keene, and of which mention will be 
made further on, I was enabled to see some of the 
original drawings. For that of King James in the 
throes of desperate sea-sickness, the artist had chosen 
an ancient scrap of paper of the most telling greeny 
yellowness of hue, which heightened in an extraordi- 
nary manner the miserable look upon the monarch's 

face, who — 

^' Looking glum and green. 

Sits with a basin resting on his knee." 

This adventitious effect is, of course, inevitably 
missing in the reproduction. 

'* Draw a thing as you see it," was Keene's almost 
invariable answer to questions as to method. Art 
discussions of all sorts he tabooed, and laughed 
at the distinctions between landscape and portrait 
painters. '' If a man can draw, he can draw any- 
thing," he would say. Pressed one day on a walk 
with other young artists as to how he would express 
up-hill and down-hill in a picture, he took his stick, 
and said, ** If I want to draw up-hill, I draw it 




€^ueen'0 Koati HSim 14S 

like that," making a diagonal mark from bottom to 
top on the ground, " and if I want down-hill, like 
this," making a similar mark, only from top to 
bottom. Nothing would induce him to discuss 
methods seriously. What he could do he could do 
by means best known to himself, and nothing was to 
be gained by argument. 

Without being in the slightest degree self-suffi- 
cient, he had a just and undemonstrative confidence 
in the rules of procedure by which his method was 
governed, and which he had evolved out of his own 
experience. He cared not to listen to the pedantry 
of others, and shrank from making what " The 
Rambler " calls ** an unseasonable ostentation of 
learning" himself. That he carried this rule at 
times too far, and was apt somewhat unfairly to look 
upon legitimate interchange of opinions as neces- 
sarily a display of coxcombry, cannot be denied, but 
it was all part and parcel of the man's habitual 
hatred of every kind of boastfulness, and his sus- 
picion that discussion spelt display. 

In 1873 we find Keene again changing his quar- 
ters for II, Queen's Road West, after nearly ten 
years over Messrs. Elliott and Fry's, in Baker Street. 
The new studio was part of a charming old house 
now no longer standing, having been pulled down 
some years later for the purpose of prolonging Tite 
Street into Tedworth Square. 

Soon after Keene removed there, Mr. F. Wilfrid 
Lawson, the well-known artist, took the whole house, 
Keene continuing to occupy two of the rooms. Here 

L 



146 C|iarle0 l^eene 



he massed together that extraordinary miscellaneous 
collection of properties the general effect of which 
nobody who ever saw them is ever likely to forget — 
old swords, iron gauntlets, a full-sized headless barrel 
of a wooden horse, and saddle for an equestrian sitter, 
a wardrobe of female dresses of archaic and most 
unbecoming patterns, coats and waistcoats of various 
rustic types drawing-boards, books, and countless 
folios of prints collected ever since he was a boy, all 
heaped together in bewildering confusion. 

Of one of his ordinary working days Mr. Mills gives 
me the following account : ** He breakfasted about 
nine o'clock, his meal consisting generally of porridge, 
bacon (cooked to a cinder), fruit tart, and jam. He 
then walked to his studio, regardless of weather, 
never in the heaviest rain using an umbrella. When 
his studio was in Baker Street he usually dined at 
Pamphilon*s, a restaurant near Oxford Circus. When 
at Chelsea he was wont, there being presumably no 
restaurant within reach, to cook his own dinner, 
consisting (so far as meat was concerned) of a stew 
concocted of beefsteak, potatoes, and onions, which 
he would leave to simmer in an earthen pot over a 
small gas-jet arrangement until about five o'clock 
(he ate no lunch) ; he would * set-to,' eating his meal 
in a small kitchen near his room, and always reading 
during his repast. He invariably wound up with 
bread and jam. He drank nothing at dinner, but 
made himself some coffee afterwards. There he 
would remain until eleven or twelve, when he trudged 
home. On Saturday nights he frequently, if not 



(Ctjerpstiap %ltt 147 



generally, dined at the Arts Club. On Sunday he 
dined either at that club or with his old friend 
Mr. J. P. Heseltine, of Queen's Gate, in either case 
coming to my house about ten o'clock for an hour s 
chat and smoke." 

Such was Keene's everyday life, varied, as we 
have seen, by frequent visits to ** Tig," and an occa- 
sional visit to his friends in Suffolk or the North. 

From the former place he writes : — 

To Joseph Crawhally Esq} 

" Tigbourne Cottage, 

" Witley, Godalming, Surrey. 

{^Octoberi, 1873.] 

**Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

" On my return to town from a short trip a 
week or so ago I found your kind present of the 
little book of verses, which I shall value very much, 
and thank you very heartily for remembering me. 
I was very busy in London preparing to run down 
here for a few days to see the last of autumn, so put 
off answering till now that I can do it in leisure and 
in a congenial frame of mind. IVe just been prac- 
tising * Wylam away* on my small pipes. I can 
only do this in a very make-shift fashion, by con- 
verting a small Scotch chanter into a Northumber- 
land one by plugging up the end ! as I'm waiting for 
a reed I ordered half a year ago of old Reid of 
North Shields, who is a very dilatory old boy, but a 
picturesque though, and his wife Holbein would 

^ With the commencement of his friendship, in 1872, with this 
gentleman, I shall deal in the next chapter. 



hS C|arle0 lieene 



have liked to paint ! I send you a rough sketch for 
your scrap-book. I have put by another of a fishing 
subject for you, but could not lay my hand on it ; it 
will turn up. 

'* Will you kindly transcribe for me the title-page, 
date, etc., of Oswald s collection of tunes that you 
recommended me to get, as I shall have a rummage 
for it among the old music-book shops in town. 

** I boasted to a friend of mine the other day — he 
has a fine library of rare books — that I had a scarce 
and curious modern work, and of which I believed 
the British Museum did not possess a copy, and 
excited his bibliomania about it to the utmost, and 
produced your * Book of Angling.' He acknow- 
ledged my triumph ! 

** Your friend Mr. Joseph Watson gave me a very 
pretty book, * Coquetdale Fishing Songs,' with a 
very eloquent description of that river in the In- 
troduction, demonstrating clearly what a charming 
region it must be to the artist and sportsman. Birket 
Foster and I have half promised ourselves to go 
there on pilgrimage some day, though I know it 
takes the sojournings and explorations of years to 
get such a love for a place as is evinced in this book 
and in some of the songs in 'The Garlands.' I've 
just been reading a very delightful book for the first 
time, * Wilson's Prehistoric Annals of Scotland.' Do 
you know it ? That's an amusing story in it of 
finding a prehistoric canoe at the bottom of a moss, 
miles away from the sea, with a hole in the bottom 
stopped with a cor^/ I should like to be a rich man. 



i^raetfee.Cfianter 149 



that I might buy a virgin barrow and open it * to my 
own cheek ' ! 

" Apologizing for boring you with this babbling, 

" I am, 

'* Yours very truly, 

''Charles S. Keene. 

"J. CrawhaU, Esq." 

The Coquet mentioned in this and many sub- 
sequent letters is a very beautiful stream, rising in 
the Cheviot Hills, Roxburghshire, and falling into 
the sea opposite Coquet Island, off the coast of 
Northumberland. 

To Joseph Craw/iall, Esq. 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
** Chelsea. 

\_November ii, 1873.] 

"Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

" I have been looking forward for an oppor- 
tunity of leisure to answer your last kind letter, but 
this is the busiest time of the year with me and an 
anxious, which has hindered me. I thank you very 
heartily for the vol. of ' Oswald,' which I received 
this morning, and I shall prize it very much, and the 
more as the grift of a fellow enthusiast. I find it 
is not often met with here. I hope I shall persuade 
you to get a practice-chanter ^ and * go in ' for playing 
these tunes ; you get the character more truly on the 

* The chanter is " the highest pipe of the bagpipes, from which 
the * chaunt * or melody is produced, as opposed to the drones, 
which each speak only to a single note." — Grove's Dictiotiary of 
Music, 



\ 



ISO Charted l&eene 



chanter than on the flute, from the difference of the 
gamut, and you have the great advantage of having 
already twiddled on the flute, which, not having 
done, was my drawback. On my side Td some 
facility in reading and knowledge of time, being 
an old part-singer. Write to Messrs. Glen (344, 
North Bank Street, Edinburgh) for one of their 
' best quality * practice-chanters, with head and some 
reeds. I transcribe from their card the prices : — 

Practising Chanters, Ebony or Cocoa Wood. 

1. Full-mounted Ivory or Electro Tip . . ts. 6d. 

2. Ditto German Silver do. . . ^s, 6//. (very good). 

3. Second quality 4s, 6d, 

4. Head 4s. od. 

Reeds, 6d. each. 

And if youVe mechanical fingers and like whittling 
with a penknife, it's an additional pleasure to make 
your own reeds. 

** I know Johnson's S. M. Museum,* but you 
seldom find an edition perfect. I also know that 
Essex Harmony, and have a volume (which volume 
have you got ?). If mine is not the same as yours, 
I shall be so giad to send it to you (I think it*s in 
two vols.), as I have all the contents in Playford and 
other books of catches ; used to practise them some 
time ago with some other artists ; learnt a good 
many, particularly those mentioned in Shakespeare, 
* Hold thy peace, thou knave,* *The wise men were 
but seven/ etc., etc. Some of the epigrams were 

^ "The Scots' Musical Museum," by James Johnson, 1787- 
1803, reprinted 1839, 6 vols. 



(Elen'0 i&ipe ^unts 151 

good. You know that one of the last century, 
* Have you read Sir John Hawkins* History, etc., 
etc.; Burney's History, Burney's History, Burneys 
History pleases me*! But now-a-days few people 
seem to care for these quaint old things, nor for the 
old English madrigals, which are as fine as anything 
in music — to my notions. If you go in for the chanter 
you should get Glen s collection of pipe tunes ; these 
have the regular grace notes, or * curls ' as they are 
called in the old pipe primers. I have fragments of 
two of these, very curious ; one was evidently for the 
stockenhorn ; it is in the form of a dialogue between 
a traveller and a shepherd — very funny. These 
grace notes make all the difference, and are indis- 
pensable on the chanter, as you can't ' tongue ' as on 
the flute, and they are very natural and easy. But 
let me know if you fall in with my suggestion. You 
can do it all by yourSelf, but there are one or two 
wrinkles I can put you up to. Have you an old 
song book (with the music) called, I think, the 
Vocal Magazine? It has some rarish songs and 
tunes in it, published in Edinburgh. Do yojLi know 
Sir John Hawkins' History of Music .'^ I think it's 
a delightful book, that is, the last 2/3rds, as all 
that about the music of the Ancients is * caviare.' 
Whether he knew or cared about music I don't 
know, but he writes merely as an antiquary, so 
there's no confounded dilettante criticism. 

** I thank you very much for your offer of the 
chaplet of Coquetdale Songs, and as you knew him 
too, I would say I should think Birket Foster would 



IS2 C^arle0 lEleene 



like a copy from you. I hope you won't mention 
being indebted if I may have the pleasure of sending 
you a rough sketch now and then, and 

** I am, 

*' Yours very truly, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

** II, Queen's Road, West, 
" Chelsea. 

{^December 19, 1873.] 

" Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

" I finished my heavy work last night, and take 
advantage of my enfranchisement to write you a 
line. I hope youVe made progress with the practice- 
chanter. I dare say, being used to the flute, you 
have found it awkward stopping with the second 
joint of the fingers of the low^r hand, but resolutely 
get over this. I should find out a piper and have a 
few initiatory lessons. Play slowly at first, and lift 
the fingers high and bring 'em down like hammers — 
this, I believe, is the antique style. When I began 
I made a dummy bagpipe chanter (with large holes) ; 
that I carried in my pocket and fingered on every 
possible occasion, as I walked home at night, etc. ! 
I have to thank you again for the loan of the books, 
which I am packing up for you and will send off 
to-day, but I would not practise the tunes from them, 
but rather from the pipe books (Glen's, for instance), 
as the latter has the grace notes marked ; and when 
you have got hold of these, you can insert them 



*> . ' ■'..■ 



;n«/nti'';r> 



I-* ' 1 ''I'll 



V » . ' 






; ' .vjiti yv?;i . 
fin- S'C'n 



I - 



. (''■■[ iJ' :• . 



■; .: :■' an. iik 



• 1 



I 



• I i 



i^ort|)umberIanti ^unta 153 

yourself ad. lib. There are other pipe books I can 
give you the titles of — Macdonald's Pibrochs and 
McKay's ditto, etc., etc. Old Reid has at last sent 
the pipes to my friend, and my reeds, so now Tm 
going in for Northumberland tunes. The tunes I 
chose from your book MS. (by conning out the air 
to myself) are : * Shew *s the way to Wallington, 
' Wylam away,' * Blackett of Wylam,' * My love :s 
newly listed,' * The Black Cock o* Whickham,' * Sir 
J. Fenwick ' (two settings), 'Canny Newcassle,' 
* Stanhope o' Weardale,' * My petticoat's louse,' * Yar- 
mouth Lasses,' * A Stagshaw Banker,' * N iel Gow's 
Wife,' 'Over the Border,' ' Meggy's Foot,' * Cuckold 
come out.' * Buttered Peas,' ... * Cuddy clawed 
her,' ' Brickland,' * Black and the Grey,' * Holme's 
Fancy,' * Bonny Pit Laddie,' * All the night I lay 
wi' Johnny,' * Cut and dry Dolly,' * O'er the dyke,' 
' Bobby Shaftoe,' * Newmarket Races,' * Jackey Lay- 
ton,' * Hen's March' (this in the Scotch pipe books 
called ' Brose and Butter'). . . . But I find I've 
missed a bar here and there, so I hope to see that 
edition of yours some day. What sort of a condition 
were those big Northumberland pipes you saw at 
Reid's for which he asked 30^. — very dirty ? That 
set of Tommy Hair's are a * caution ' for that matter. 
Are the former as good as yours and the same sort "i 
I'm thinking of getting Reid to send them up for 
me to look at. I've been looking through * Wood's 
Songs of Scotland.' In the notes I see Oswald is 
often quoted as an authority for a tune, though he 
speaks of him as a ' noted impostor,' but the authority 



154 C{iarle0 Heme 



he quotes mostly is * Illustrations to Johnson's Musi- 
cal Museum.' Is this the book you have ? I gave 
Birket Foster the * bookie' you sent him, and he 
asked me to give you his compliments and thanks ; 
he was very pleased with it and the little blossoms 
in illustration. I send you in the parcel the odd 
volume of the Essex Harmony for your collection, 
but I fancy it is not the same edition as yours, as 
the etching is an interior, but it is quaint. As you 
are a print collector, do you know Chodowiecki's 
etchings ? — a * little master* I admire very much. A 
friend of mine, W. B. Scott, who was at Newcastle 
some time ago, has a mania in that direction. He 
lives near here in one of the most picturesque of the 
old Chelsea houses, and I very often have a ' crack ' 
with him over his prints. 

** IVe been reading a very interesting book lately, 
* Words and Places,* by the Rev. Isaac Taylor. Do 
you know it ? It is not an attractive title, but I 
advise you to read it. I expect he*s a learned fellow, 
as I see in the papers he has lately made a discovery 
about the ancient Etruscan language ! 

'' I wish you a happy Christmas, and more anon. 

** Yours very truly, 

'•Charles S. Keene." 

For the Russian painter and engraver, Daniel 
Nicotes Chodowiecki, who died in 1801, Keene had 
a great admiration, and made a collection of his book 
illustrations. Writing to Mr. Crawhall on another 
occasion, he says : " The last good thing I picked up 
was an edition of * Clarissa Harlowe* in French, in 



C|)OtiolDiecki 155 



ten vols., with two etchings of Chodowiecki s in each. 
I feel terribly tempted to sacrifice the book and cut 
'em out. Do you know this artist's works ? I con- 
sider him the most extraordinary demon of industry 
(and very excellent art of its sort) I ever knew of. 
He has to be discovered. I'd bet that four British 
R.A.'s out of seven would not know his name. I've 
collected an infinitesimal pinch of his handiwork. 
. . . Menzel, the great German artist who is being 
'discovered' now, is a follower in his track." 

An account of Keene's " little master," by Austin 
Dobson, is to be found in the July number of " The 
Magazine of Art,'* 1885. 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
** Chelsea. 

\^March 5, 1874.] 

" Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

" There was an advertisement in * Notes and 
Queries' that Messrs. Blackwood had a few copies 
left of their edition of * Johnson s Scots' Musical 
Museum,' which I had seen quoted and referred to 
in * Wood's Songs of Scotland.' I got it, and have 
been very interested in it. Do you know the book ? 
I should like to send you the first and fourth volumes 
to look at, as I think you would like to have it. The 
last volume is entirely notes referring to evei^ tune 
in the book, and the first contains a IFst of all the 
editions of Scotch tunes known. I should think 
there would never be another edition, and so the 
book will be rare. I have turned down the pages in 



156 C^arle0 Heme 



several places for your attention. It's amusing how 
these Scots claim all the tunes, won't even leave us 
'Old King Cole'! (see notes). Have you a tune in 
any of your books called * Hey, bonny lass, will you 
He in a barrack?' There is a tune I like very 
much in one of Glen's books (Miss Forbes's Fare- 
well, I think). I find this is a modem composer, 
according to the notes in the Museum, but I fancy 
remembering an old friend who was deep in this sort 
of lore telling me the original of the tune was this, 
' Hey, bonny lass,' etc. This air is mentioned in the 
above book, but I don't think it is given. 

** I'm curious to know how you get on with the 
chanter, the more as I find you mention the tunes I 
take to myself. The Glens promise a better setting 
of ' Macpherson s Lament.* * Bonny Strathmore' is 
one of my tunes. Try the * Piper s March.' A friend 
of mine, an Irish artist, told me this tune was given 
him by an Irish piper as * Brian Boru's March,' but 
I see on looking at your last letter you mention this 
tune ; it comes well on the big pipes. I should like 
to send you my miniature pipes to try how you like 
them. They are in very good order, but you'll find 
the chanter weak, and disposed to get sharp as you 
play, and besides spoils your fingering for the larger 
size. I picked up McGibbon s collection of tunes 
the other day. It contains * Jacky Laten ' (sic), and 
I find this name in the Museum called *Jack o' 
Latin,' and there are a list of names of Border 
tunes in this book (page turned down) that I don't 
remember in Peacock. I was bidding at the sale 



./ : f; J 



^ t^w 




158 Cliarled Heene 



(when I bought MacGibbon s collection) for another 
book, McGlashan's collection, but one of the London 
booksellers (Pickering) told me he wanted it particu- 
larly, so I dropped it. If I was an angler as well as 
a musical maniac how I should bore you! My Irish 
friend (who gave me the march) is a champion fly- 
fisher, tells me he can kill a 3-pound (or f of a 
pound, I forget which) trout with a single woman's 
hair. Is this a fact ? ^ He has often wanted me to 
go to the mouth of the Thames in mid-winter and 
lie on my belly in the marshes for hours before day- 
break to shoot ducks ! I hope you've had good 
sport with rod and creel this spring. 

"My piper is coming to me soon, and Til send 
you one or two of his reeds ; they are the best I've 
ever seen and used. 

** That really is an exhaustive book on Scotch 
music, and I think you would like it, if you don't 
know it, and isn't dear — four vols. £2 ys, bd. 

" Hoping I've not bored you, 

'' I am, 

** Yours very truly, 

*' Charles S. Keene." 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea, 

** Sunday, 26th. 

\_AprU, 1874.] 

'* Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

** I meant to have inflicted you with a letter in 

^ Keene was no sportsman, and his friend Hibernian. 



Bagpfpe0 159 



your holiday, but am afraid IVe let the time pass. I 
had a run into Surrey, but had to work in the day- 
time, and the weather was so fine, was out a good 
deal o' nights. The nightingale^ was a day later. 
On the 14th I heard him first ; his courier, the wry- 
neck, was squeaking all over the country when I got 
down. Do these latter birds come as far north as 
you ? I hope you had a good time with rod and 
creel. I showed that bit of gut you sent me (which 
might have served for a first string for violoncello in 
Oberons band) to my Irish fly-fishing friend, and 
think it made him uneasy for the rest of the day. 
I'm so much obliged for the loan of your book, and 
I've been copying away like mad at the new tunes, 
and find them very quaint and amusing. I'm very 
fond of the ' Bonnie Pit Laddie,' and the desperate 
tenacity that its key-note is held on to. I found 
another tune to-day, in which the composer *lets go* 
of it and never catches it again ; and another one, 
•The Wearmouth Lads' — I think that's a perfect 
study for octaves and iiths! How jolly those 
little bits of sea-songs are, ' The Weary Cutter' 
and * Captain Bovey.' The finest sea-tune I know, 
though, is * Admiral Benbow,' see third vol. Chap- 
pell's collection. I lent Chappell the copy from 
which he took this ; picked it up at a stall in Lon- 
don ; I've seen it in another old music-book since, 
though. That's the worst of these literary men, 
though — I never got my copy back ! Some of the 

^ It became an understood thing that he should run down year 
by year to the IJirket Fosters to welcome the first nightingale. 



i6o C|)acle0 %eene 



words of the song, though, are lost and badly re- 
placed. I send you a pretty little piece of music 
that we used to make my sister s children sing when 
they were little, four tiny trebles in a row in unison. 
Are your olive branches young ? Try it with them, 
and if it does not give you a pleasant goose-fleshy 
sensation and a lump in your throat * it's a pity ' ! 
Have you any fancy in the canine way ? I've had a 
little German Dachshund bitch * given to me, very 
well bred. You know the sort of dog, of course — 
head and tail like a beagle, long body and short legfs. 
If she ever has a family, * say the word* — quiet, 
affectionate little animal, always sniffing about for 
mice and such small deer; I fancy just the com- 
panion for an angler. She killed a tame pigeon of 
ours though, this week, when our backs were turned. 
That reminds me of a bulldog that a friend of mine 
had that killed every cat he came across, but he had 
been made to understand he was to spare the family 
mouser, and my friend says he often sees Tiger 
staring at her and the water running out of his 
mouth! I had a fit of extravagance this week — 
received a catalogue from an Edinburgh bookseller 
and bought * Mackay's Pibrochs,' * Kay's Etchings,* 
* Chambers' Domestic Annals,' and Campbell's (or 
Cameron's) treatise on * Highland Music, with Airs,' 
etc. ; this last on spec. ; I don't know the book. I 



^ This was the same dog of whose dead body he made his last 
sketch in 1890. She had two sons, ** Bismarck" and "Punch"; 
the former was given to Mr. Dudley, the latter to Mr. Birket 
Foster. 



(Breat ^uft Ball^ i6i 

was speaking the other day to a very old friend of 
mine about the Coquet, and it came out that he 
knew you — Captain Walter May. I knew him when 
he was a midshipman, before he went to the North 
Pole. He is a first-rate fellow, and an enthusiastic, 
hard-working artist. I should like very much to 
have that copy of Peacock. Kindly let me know 
what they want for it, and I will send you the 
* argentum.' 

" What do you think of the notes to the * Scots' 
Musical Museum ? ' As you as a fisherman are a 
good deal in the woods and fields, are you a fungus 
eater ? If not, begin with the Great Puff Ball. It 
is the finest of all and quite safe, as there's none 
other like it. Cut it in slices about a third of 
an inch thick, and fry with white of egg and bread 
crumbs, or how you like. We find them here 
about the end of May or June. Tve learned about 
a dozen sorts, and uncommonly good they are. 
It's rather an interesting study, too, from the spice 
of danger in it. 

** May I present the copy of * Chaplets from Co- 
quetside ' you gave me (the extra one) to the library 
of the Arts Club that I belong to ? I think it would 
be fitly placed, as the members would appreciate its 
artistic character. Hoping Tve not bored you, 

" I am, 

** Yours very truly, 

" Charles S. Keene," 



M 



i62 C|)arle0 I&eene 



To Joseph C raw hall y Esq* 

" 1 1, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea. 

[^August i8, 1874.] 

" Dear Sir, 

" I recollect threatening you with a letter some 
time ago, as I was going into the country with 
visions of leisure and idleness, of which, somehow, I 
was disappointed and you were spared. My stay 
was short, and I had to rush back to London and 
turmoil. While there, however, I caught some trout 
with a landing-net, assisted by a friend with a rod 
{about a pound and a half each, and good eating). 
There was a good-sized pond there by a farm house, 
through the middle of which a stream ran. It was 
full of small perch, and my friend persuaded the 
farmer to let the water out for a day or two, and a 
man at Guildford, addicted to pisciculture, put some 
trout in in the summer of 1872, and this spring it 
was full. There was about six feet room to throw 
a fly (between trees !). I hear the late storm played 
havoc with them, as there was plenty of mud at 
the edge. 

** I lent my Irish friend Doubleday's book de- 
scribing the Coquet, and he made a descent there 
this summer. Tve hardly seen him since, so don't 
know how he sped ; perhaps you came across 
him. 

** I thought you would like that sympathetic set- 
ting of old Herrick's * Grace for a little child'; the 
tune is easy, and if you can wheedle some children 



' ■ • ■ f 



■ R 



r 

I 



- ".1 \ .•;•■ ■ • 



' « ! . f '. r >' 



1 



■ 1 ; i r ■ ' 









> : M ► I ■ c L ^ . . . . 
I 



I - 1 



' ■ I . 



■» ■ 



. ' ':■ ■ 



1. 1 



. .1 ! •!•' . ■ 



i 



H 




3p0tofclj 163 

to sing it you will like it more. Do any of your 
youngsters sing in parts ? I should like to send 
them a * round ' from * Pammelia * that I affect very 
much. Since I wrote Tve been for a few days to 
my native town, Ipswich, which I've hardly seen 
since my school days, and sauntered about marking 
the ravages that * the advancement of the age ' and 
railways, etc., etc., had made in the old place, and, I 
fancy, in rather an illiberal mood ! I hope your 
music-book arrived safely ; I packed it very carefully. 
I culled it very freely, and only left some Peacock 
to keep my appetite for a copy. My piper is making 
me some practice-reeds that I will send you. They 
are so good that you will go to work with a will. 
' McRory s Breeches' is a good tune. How do you 
get on with the * practice-stick ' ? I still find the 
difficulties interesting to thumb the high H as a 
demi-semi-quaver, and to rattle three or four grace 
notes in no time at all ! I have just written to the 
dealer in Pilgrim Street ; he wrote me about a guitar, 
he thinks of the time of James ! It's only the old 
English guitar played in this century when the 
Spanish guitar ousted it. I've a fine specimen with 
a 9-peg head, dated 1 760. 
** More anon. 

'' Yours very truly, 

" Charles S. Keene. 

** Many thanks for the illumination of the monks 
of Coquetside ; it looks as if it was torn out of a 
missal !" 



1 64 C^arled Heme 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

** II, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea. 

\Circa 1874.] 

" Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

'* I thank you very much for the loan of the 
music-books. I suppose William Kell was a 
piper ; almost all the tunes in his book are in 
G or D. I wonder who Oswald was ; I fancy a 
Cockney musician, and wrote a good many of 
the * favourite Scotch songs,' that seem to have 
been the fashion in the latter half of the last 
century ; but I must try and get his book ; it is a 
curious collection. I should not have expected to 
find one of Purcell's songs, and that one of his best, 

* What shall I do to show,' etc., amongst them. 
There is an announcement, too, on the title-page, 

* Where only is to be sold the Harp of -^olus. 
Those that have not the inventor's name on them 
are counterfeits'! There was an upright ^Eolian 
harp in the Exhibition at South Kensington looked 
older than this. The best book of Scotch music 
that I've got is that by Captain Simon Eraser, 18 16. 
I don't think it is rare ; I daresay you have it. Of 
course you have ' Bunting's Irish Melodies,' or know 
these lovely compositions. I wish I was sure oF 
being able to play ' The Blackbird' on the Northum- 
berland pipes before I die. If I was in Newcastle 
I'd certainly have a * haggle' with that broker for' 



Bagpiper 165 



those pipes, though Tve got two or three sets ! — one 
ver)^ pretty ivory set, a present from Alexander 
Stevenson, of Tynemouth. I gave a set to a friend 
of mine, a Scot in Edinburgh, nearly a year ago, but 
sent them en route to old Reid to put some metal 
reeds in the drones, and there they are stuck ! The 
Scot is * lashed into madness * at intervals with im- 
patience for them. If you should be near his shop 
it's worth visiting. I like the old boy very much, so 
don't scold him, but tell him I can't get on for want 
of an easy-going chanter reed. He's always mending 
those confounded umbrellas ; that's the worst of your 
pluvious country. I often jog him up with a letter, 
but he never answers. He has a set of Low-country 
pipes of his father s make. I asked him if he would 
part with them the last time I wrote. 

" I have seen the Edinburgh Museum, and long 
to see it again since I read Wilson's book, but I've 
not seen that of York. Talking of Berwick, do you 
know the country between there and Dunbar? It 
looks to me very enticing as I've seen it from the 
G. N. Railway on my way north. A forest on a hill 
and a stream at the foot for many miles on the sea 
side of the railway — I should have thought a good 
trout stream by the look and sound of it. I'm glad 
to hear you have the antiquarian madness as well as 
for music, as I have the dementia very strong myself, 
and it reassures me in thus boring you with my 
rigmarole. I picked up a Lowland shepherd's pipe, 
a stockhorn I think it's called, the other day. The 
only other one I've seen belongs to Drummond the 



i66 CtiarU0 %eene 



painter, of Edinburgh. Do you know him ? When 
you are there you should see his sketches (for the 
last thirty years) he has made of the old closes of the 
town, a wonderful collection beautifully done. The 
city ought to secure this, -and not let it be snapped 
up by some American ultimately. I am a practical 
antiquary in one way. Being anything but a * Good 
Templar' in the matter of tobacco, I always smoke 
antient tobacco-pipes, of which Tve a good many, 
enough to last my life, and to give away to any who 
will use them, of small capacity but large bore. 
Have you any of them ? — generally with a device on 
the heel. Unfortunately as 1 use them 1 break 
them sometimes. 1 had one that was fished out of 
the well of Dunottar Castle, evidently left by some 
of Cromwell's men when he garrisoned it. The best 
were made at Amesbury, inWiltshire, with this mark.* 
I've two of these. I believe the clay pipe was 
invented and first made in Great Britain. You've 
drawn your quern thus — that's upside down, isn't it ? 
I suppose they ground the grain with a stone in the 
hollow, and the flour dropped through the hole in the 
centre. 

*'J. D. Watson, the painter, told me the other 
day he met a gentleman in Wales who had a collec- 
tion of Welsh MSS. of the tenth century!!! I think 
he said (that's modest for Wales). One was an 
essay, or something of that sort, on music, with 
drawings, and amongst these some bagpipes ! I 
won't believe it till I see it. He said he would 

^ A hand. 



ColUrtftiff 



167 



write for some tracings. But I won't bore you any 
more. I hope you'll excuse all this, and 
" Believe me, 

" Yours very truly, 

" Charles S. Keene." 




OUTSIDE CAR. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



AS HUMOURIST. 



Exhibition at Fine Art Society, 1891. — A revelation. — Not a 
great humourist. — A great artist. — Comparison with Rowlandson, 
etc. — As raconttur. — Quaintness. — Mr. Birket Foster. — A good 
listener. — Hr. Robert Dudley. — Dancing in black gloves. — As 
an actor. — His humour good-humoured. — One exception. — The 
Clergy. — Good stories. — Story of two curates. — Story of British 
farmer. — Story of Aberdonian. — Story of ^tr. Oscar Wilde and 
Mr. Whistler. — Story of well-brought up child. — Earthworm joke. 
— Captain Robley, 91st Highlanders. — Appeal for subjects. — Story 
of Archdeacon Bouverie. — Mr. Farrar Ranson's story. — Mr. Stacey 
Marks' portrait by Keene In " Punch." — Stor>' of Scotchman and 
asparagus. — Story of bereaved husband. — Story of "spirits for- 
ward." — The schoolboy's suggestion. — Mr. Henry Silver. — Mr. 
Andrew Tuer. — Value of original drawings. — Keene's carelessness. 
— A misunderstanding. ^Correspondence thereon. — A Bargain. — 
Fine quality of friendship. — Editorial risks. — A "Chestnut." — 
"The Family Herald." — Correspondence (hereon. — An editorial 
shift. — "Cause and Effect." — Mr. Joseph Crawhall. — Keene's in- 
debtedness to him. — Description of his surroundings. — A generous 
controversy.— The " Albums."— Mr. Crawhall's portrait in " Punch." 
— Acknowledgments of help. — A revolver as wedding present. — 
Mr. Crawhall's father.^The printer's devil. — " Editorial sapience." 
" Comminatory." — " ',\ndi capped.'' — Keene's humour. 

Mention has been made in the last 
chapter of the commencement of 
[ ^ Keene's friendship with Mr. Joseph 
Crawhall. The remarkable nature of 
what may be properly called their collaboration sub- 




Sl9S 1?umourf0t 169 



sequently in the pages of " Punch," never before 
publicly recognized, renders this a fitting place to 
consider the claims of Charles Keene to be regarded 
as a humourist. 

There can be little doubt that the majority of 
persons who visited the exhibition of his works at 
the galleries of the Fine Art Society in 1891, a few 
months after his death, found more enjoyment in the 
perusal of the legends attached to the drawings than 
in the drawings themselves. That was probably 
owing to the fact that C. K.*s name was, from cir- 
cumstances, so inseparably connected with *' Punch," 
that the public went with the intention of being 
amused by a "funny" man, not with the expecta- 
tion of being delighted by the masterpieces of the 
greatest artist in black and white that England has 
ever produced. 

To those who then first saw the original drawings, 
and knew what drawing meant, the exhibition was a 
revelation. To those who carefully considered the 
** legends " and only incidentally glanced at their 
pictorial illustration — and these were the majority — 
it seemed but a troublesome way of looking at back 
numbers of " Punch." These latter came away with 
the conviction that C. K. was really a very funny 
man, but they would have been terribly indignant 
had they realized in how large a proportion of cases 
he was merely the illustrator of letterpress not his 
own. They would have considered him little short 
of an impostor had they known that he was the 
systematic purveyor of other people's jokes. 



170 



Charles l&eene 



It cannot be doubted that, from the particulars 
which are about to appear, Keene's reputation as an 
original humourist will suffer. On the other hand. 




The finished picture appeared in "Punch" with iitt follcjiing legend: — 
More "Revexge for the Union." 
Saxon Tourist {at Irish Railway Station) : "What time does the 
half-past eleven irain start, Paddy?" 

Porter. " At thrutty minutes to twilve— sharrup, sor 1 " 

[ Tourist retires up discomfited. 

his extraordinary powers as an illustrator will for the 
first time meet with due appreciation. He was the 



Slfi !^umouri0t 171 



last person in the world to set himself up as a comic 
man, and certainly he was the last person in the 
world to wish that credit should be given him in his 
biography for qualities which he did not possess. 
Indeed we shall find him later on evincing consider- 
able distress lest his chief collaborator should fail to 
receive the credit due for his share in the business. 
Not that it is to be understood that Keene was 
lacking in humorous perception of the most delicate 
kind, and indeed was an original humourist of no 
mean quality, but, I believe, it will more and more 
appear that he cannot be ranked amongst the g-reai 
original humourists of the world. To parody what 
Lowell said of Pope, " Measured by any high stan- 
dard of humour he will be found wanting ; tried by 
any test of art he is unrivalled ! " 

But, when we say that Keene was not one of the 
great humourists of the world, we must be careful to 
hold to the received definition of humour as " that 
quality of the imagination which gives to ideas a 
wild or fantastic turn, and tends to excite laughter or 
mirth by ludicrous images or representations." In 
this sense, in which Rowlandson,Gillray,Cruickshank, 
and Leech were humourists, C. K. was not; but in 
the sense in which Shakespeare and Thackeray, 
Balsac and Cervantes were humourists — that is, in 
seizing upon Nature truthfully and without exaggera- 
tion when she was in a humorous mood, he ranks 
with the greatest. In other words, his is pure 
comedy without a touch of buffoonery. Indeed, 
where he attempts to be farcical he almost invariably 



i 



"i^l^ C&arle£( lleene 



fails. Nature made Keene an artist, circumstances 
a humorous one. 

In the first place to deal with his humour apart 
from his art 

Although at times he could tell a story passably 
well, it can hardly be claimed for him that he was a 
raconteur of anything approaching the first water. 
Indeed his friends are almost unanimous in declaring 
that his narrations were too long drawn out, and that 
as often as not he would stop abruptly ere ever the 
point was reached. Not that his stories ever failed 
in their primary object of adding to the gaiety of the 
occasion and raising a laugh, for he had a peculiar 
way of drawing up the under eyelid, as a bird does 
the white film from below, w^hich was quite sui 
generis, and quite irresistibly funny. It was as 
though the grand climax of the story had been 
reached, which was frequently far from the case, but 
the signal was good enough in itself, and rarely 
failed to bring down the house. 

There was, too, a certain grave humour in him, as 
Mr. Aldis Wright expresses it to me, that rendered 
him greatly attractive to such men as Edward Fitz- 
gerald — and we must remember that Fitzgerald was 
a man who appreciated the majesty of simplicity far 
above what Pope calls *'the quaintness of wit." 

Keene was never the man to keep a table in a 
roar, but he possessed a certain nice fancifulness of 
diction agreeable to those who possessed an exact 
taste. Referring to this quality, Mr. Birket Foster, 
writing of his visits to Witley, says : '* He used to 



ag fetorp^teller 173 



tell us stories at night as no one but he could tell 
them." To which may be added a sentence from 
a letter from Mr. Robert Dudley: "He was a 
man whose very peculiarities were of so simple and 
quaint a character as to render it very difficult to 
convey, in words only, the pith of many a charac- 
teristic 'bit.'" 

I also find the following entry in Mr. Edwin 
Edwards' diary for February 28, 1863, at the very 
beginning of an acquaintance which was destined 
to ripen into the closest friendship : ** C. Keene 
seems full of pleasant fun and humour. Tells a 
story well." 

The fact was he was a shy man and destitute 
of the pushing quality essential to the professed 
story-teller, and it was only when he found himself 
with some of " our sort," as he would call those who 
were congenial, that he was able in any way to do 
himself justice. As a rule, indeed, he was a much 
better listener than talker. Good-humoured and 
genial as he almost invariably was — a cheerful man 
rather than a gay, as the " Spectator " says in a 
sympathetic article — he always evinced a genuine 
and generous appreciation for the humour of others, 
never failing to apprehend the most delicate shade 
or gradation of fancy. Indeed, so difficult does he 
find it to realize that others do not see the humorous 
side of things as he does, that, tolerant as he is of 
most human failings, he complains with an almost 
laughable vehemence in one of his letters of what 
he considers to be the density and stupidity of one 



174 Ctiarlea lieene 



of his employers, who writes asking him to explain 
a joke. " I have written," he says, " explaining the 
situation with sarcastic elaboration." 

In this connection I cannot do better than insert 
another interesting note, supplied to me by his friend 
Mr. Robert Dudley. 

** This quick sense of humour was strongly tinged 
with a peculiarly quaint simplicity of character. 
Perhaps this simplicity preserved to him to the last 
the breezy freshness of humorous perception. To 
say that C. K. was 'unconventional' would be only 
half descriptive of his character. He was uncon- 
sciously unconventional, not intentionally so, and 
always seemed to me to be exceedingly surprised 
when by any chance he found he was not exactly in 
the groove cut out by the general track, sometimes 
amusingly so. To give an instance (one amongst 
many that would occur to those who knew him 
intimately) : he once, talking to my wife, told her his 
reason for wearing black kid gloves when dancing 
(he was in younger days very fond of dancing — 

* such a splendid exercise of the muscles '). * I 
always wear black kid gloves because they don't 
show the soiling and last much longer ; much more 
economical, you know.' ' Wejl, but,' said my wife, 

* you ought to consider also the ladies' dresses. I 
am afraid your black gloves occasionally leave their 
traces on delicate materials.' * Good gracious/ he said, 

* I never thought of that/ The comic side of the 
subject, I need not say, presented itself to him, and 
found vent in a ' Punch ' ' bit ' of a back view of a 



■ . ■-.■». 



I 

■ . ." . ■ : . I ". . ■ ' 

; : '•■'.■■* • I 

I • ' '. i . . . I ' . \ .1 

scntaiiMn. ili'- 
little; au.:.u:i:":. 
a verv rar-. ' v« 
ever wcnl Im :. \ 
"At th<. Itm'- • 
l?lru:^• ^^■-^' V .: 

Kvvln.: to I \..- 



I" 



'I • ■ 



€tiarafie»acrtng 175 



young lady whose dress had been so marked with 
the black hand of a warm partner. But he gave up 
the black kids for the future. 

" Keene s sense of humour was largely appreciative, 
but its expression was almost wholly artistic (techni- 
cally artistic, I mean). No amount of hard drilling 
would have made him even a tolerable amateur actor. 
Of course with his quickness and brightness of per- 
ception he could fully seize any humorous point; 
and, more than that, he was indeed particularly 
open to strong emotional sympathies of a serious 
character. I have known him, not unfrequently, to 
be genuinely moved to tears by a dramatic repre- 
sentation, although a public theatre possessed so 
little attraction for him that his presence there was 
a very rare event. He told me once that he scarcely 
ever went to a theatre. 

"At the house of a mutual friend in London — a 
large New Years Eve party — I once persuaded 
Keene to take part in a rather carefully-prepared 
charade, at the time believing that his peculiar 
humour would appear in some dry comic develop- 
ment, but, instead of being one of the providers, he 
immediately became one of the recipients of the 
humour, and quite led the laughter of *the house,' 
excusing himself afterwards for having entirely 
dropped his * character* by saying, *You see, I was 
occupied in observing the piece, and got interested 
in the plot ; hope it didn't make much difference.' " 

One thing, however, was particularly noticeable 
about his conversation, as well as about his work. 



176 Ctiarlea lieene 



He was never unkindly in his fun. His humour was 
essentially -good-humoured. He never fell into the 
habit of raising a laugh at the expense of individuals. 
It was this quality, probably, which prevented him 
from ever making his mark as a political cartoonist. 
Indeed, the marvellous facility with which he could 
catch a likeness charged with a fleeting expression, 
would have made \i\vci facile pHnceps in that class of 
work. 

Nobody enjoyed more than he did having a laugh 
at the weaknesses, the foibles, the littlenesses which 
were peculiar to classes of persons. His drunken 
elder of the kirk, his stuck-up slavey, his sancti- 
monious parson, his snobbish parvenu, his sham 
sentimentalist, his brutal cabman, each was a type, 
and as a type he held him up to ridicule with 
exquisite enjoyment of his discomfiture. But he 
found little or no pleasure in the gibbeting of an 
enemy, the fleering or flouting at a fellow-creature. 
It was this consideration for the individual that made 
him write to Mr. Crawhall that he was about to do 
a subject of his, that of a newly-dubbed knight's 
wife, whose elevation *' wouldn't make no difference 
in her manners," but that he was afraid of hurting 
the feelings of a certain person who was likely to 
take it as personal ; " so," he continues, " I shall save 
the story for the new electorate, and utilize it in the 
case of some working man M.P. (Radical)." 

One exception to this rule, however, will occur to 
those who knew Keene in his earlier " Punch " days, 
For some reason or other, probably not owing to 



Ratfier Spiteful 177 



any definite disagreement, but rather because the 
natures of the two men were generally antagonistic, 
lie had a strong objection to one of his former col- 
leagues, and for some time whenever he wished to 
portray a singularly silly or pompous individual, 
the " Punch " figure would bear a strong family 
likeness, to say the least, to this natty and precise 
gentleman. 

Even with the classes at which he poked his fun he 
ivas mostly very tender and kindly. Perhaps, indeed, 
the only order of persons to whom he ever showed 
anything approaching spitefulness were clergymen of 
the Church of England. Upon them it cannot, I 
think, be denied he was unduly severe, and, indeed, on 
■more than one occasion went out of his way to raise 
an unkind and unfair laugh at their expense. As 
an example may be mentioned the picture entitled 
^'Nemesis" in "Punch" for July 31, 1880, in which 
a clergyman with a rubicund nose is represented as 
bringing to his wife, who is nursing a young baby, a 
feeding-bottle. ** No, William,*' she says, " I will 
3iot have him brought up on the * bottle ' ! Look at 
your own nose, dear!" And the animus is the 
more apparent when we find that in the original 
suggestion, provided by Mr. Crawhall, the husband 
is represented as a layman. But when we have said 
this we have, I believe, said all. And of what other in 
the whole range of satiric art can it be maintained 
that he never, with perhaps the one exception given 
above, wilfully raised an unkind laugh at the expense 
of an individual, and that his worst malignity was 



i;8 Ctiarlefl %eene 



the treatment, with some undue harshness, of a class 
which is surely strong enough in the consciousness of 
its general integrity to withstand many a harder 
buffet ? 

Always delighted with a story with a neat point 
to it, his letters teem with the formula ** I heard a 
good story to-day." For example: **Said a High 
Church and athletic curate to Low Church ditto, 
'Wonderful things Grace does!' 'Ah,' said the 
latter (surprised at the serious observation from his 
volatile friend), * Terue, my friend, terue/ First 
Curate : * Only fancy, y'know, ninety-two and not 
out!!'" 

And again, ** Got a story to-day of a British farmer 
on board a steamer, suffering a good deal from the 
rolling, saying to a friend, * This capt'n don't under- 
stand his business. Dang it, why don't he keep in 
the furrows ? ' " 

And again, *' A story last night of an Aberdonian, 
making a morning call, was asked if he would tak* a 
dram. He soberly declined ; * 'twas too airly the day; 
besides, he'd had a gill a' ready I ' " 

And again, " They say Oscar has cut his hair 
since he was turned off. On the morning of his 
wedding he received a telegram from Whistler, 
* Sorry . will . not . be . at . the . ceremony . don't . 
wait.' " 

And again, ** I heard a good story of a (well- 
brought-up) child, who was seen to secretly purloin 
and pocket an orange from the laid-out dinner- 
table, but was seen afterwards to enter the empty 



&upplp of &ubfect0 179 

room and secretly again return it to the dish, and 
exclaim triumphantly, "Sold again, Satan ! ' '* 

In common with all ** Punch" artists, jokes to 
illustrate were sent to him from all quarters, jokes 
usable and jokes unusable. Writing to Mrs. 
Edwards, he says, " A friend sends me a joke for 
' Punch.' Scene : Churchyard with gravestone of 
angler. Two earthworms coming up. First earth- 
worm : * Delicious flavour, this old angler.' Second 
worm : * Ah ! he killed thousands of us in his 
day ! but we're taking it out of him now ! ! ' Trn 
afraid it won't do ! " 

On December 20, 1873, ^^ writes to Mr. Mac- 
donald : " These drawings in * Punch' you see marked 
R, are from sketches sent me by a very obliging corre- 
spondent, a Captain Robley, in the 91st Highlanders ; 
lie sketches very well, and sends me lots of sugges- 
tions, and, as he naturally likes to see his name to 
some of them (that don't touch Government up too 
much), I'm glad to make him that acknowledgment. 
You see a mess-table makes a very good ' preserve ' 
for * Punch ' subjects. I don't follow his drawings 
very much, but they are very useful in military sub- 
jects. as it gives me the regulation number of 
l>uttons, etc. I shall try and get a holiday in Mid- 
summer. If I go north next year, I want to see the 
'ong northern nights. 
*'A11 those stories you sent me are capital. . . ." 
At times, however, the supply would run short, 
^i he would send an appeal ad misericordiam, 
"Uech is out of town," he writes, in July, 1864, to 



i8o C|iarle0 lieene 



his friend Edwin Edwards, " and the * Punch ' people 
are very exigent. Try and think of a subject for 
me ! 

We shall also find him in his letters, quoted else- 
where in extenso, making further appeals for sugges- 
tions. 

Mr. Aldis Wright writes: ** I once, in 1881 or 
1882, went with them (Edward Fitzgerald and 
Charles Keene), to stay for a day or two with 
George Crabbe, in Norfolk, at Merton Rectory, and, 
while there, I told him the story which I had heard 
from Archdeacon Groome, of the visit of Arch- 
deacon Bouverie to a parish in which part of the 
churchyard was cultivated as a wheat-field. Keene 
afterwards put this into ' Punch.' " 

One or two other individual instances may here be 
mentioned before giving an account of the regular 
systematic supplies which are hinted at above. The 
subject for the cut on November 28, 1885, page 262, 
was supplied to him by Mr. Farrar Ranson, the late 
Mayor of Norwich. That on August 3, 1889, page 
51, entitled ** Marry come up,'* represents an incident 
that was given to him by, and actually happened to, 
Mr. Stacy Marks, in the Zoological, although Keene, • 
for some reason, chose to lay the venue in the 
Botanical, Gardens. This picture is also interesting 
as containing a portrait sketch of the Royal Acade- 
mician. The original now hangs — a valued posses- 
sion — in Mr. Marks' house. 

The story of the canny Scotchman who had never 
seen asparagus before, and began eating the white 



, fill 




I 




OF MR. STACY MARKS, R.A., IN "PUNCH." 



i84 C|iarle0 lieene 



tainly, madam. {Then in stentorian tones^ and 
waving his hand on high) — Spirits ! forward ! ' " 

One poor boy, who gave a suggestion which 
immediately passed away from Keene s memory, was 
made the victim of a very heartless joke. Some 
little time after the story had been told him, Keene 
received a letter from the youth thanking him in the 
most extravagant terms for generosity which he did 
**not in the least expect and was very far from 
deserving." Keene was naturally amazed, as the 
suggestion had been forgotten almost as soon as 
made, and he had certainly had no communication 
whatever with its author. A little later, however, the 
matter becomes intelligible, and he writes : " That 

R mystery is cleared up. He writes to explain 

that he told a friend the joke he had given me for 
* Punch ' (which I had forgotten all about), and, as 
it did not appear, his friend wrote him a letter, as if 
from the * Punch * ofifice. expressing regret, etc., and 
enclosing him a five-pound note on some extinct 
bank ! We have seen how completely he was taken 
in. I've written to him recommending him to punch 
his friends head the first opportunity!" 

The part which Mr. Henry Silver played as a 
quickener of C. K.'s ready pen in the early years of 
his " Punch " connection is dealt with elsewhere. 

It pow becomes necessary to treat more particu- 
larly of the systematic supply of subjects by two of 
his oldest and most intimate friends, Mr. Joseph 
Crawhall and Mr. Andrew Tuer, that of the former 
extending continuously over the last fifteen or sixteen 



£(noreto ^uer 185 



years of his *' Punch " career, and that of the latter^ 
more or less uninterruptedly, over the last twenty. 

I shall deal with the latter first, as being in one 
remarkable particular, at least, a less complete method 
of suggestion than that of Mr. Crawhall. 

Some twenty years ago Mr. Tuer started a metho- 
dical system of acquiring subjects, stories, and quaint 
bits for illustration by his friend in *' Punch," under- 
standing from Keene that in return for these hints 
and suggestions he should receive the original draw- 
ings or studies as they were done with. This course 
was pursued over a period of several years, Mr. Tuer, 
who was a great admirer of his friend's art, not 
hesitating to accept drawings which, as far as he 
then knew, had no particular market value. 

After a time, however, Keene began to be aware 
that these productions were not things to be 
scattered broadcast, and were likely eventually to 
prove, as indeed they have done, of considerable 
pecuniary value. 

Hitherto his carelessness about them had been 
extraordinary. These precious works of art used to 
lie about higgledy-piggledy in the general confusion 
of his studio, to be had by any chance visitor who 
chose to ask for them, when of a sudden it flashed 
upon him that he might with equal wisdom litter the 
place with uncounted bank- notes. 

Evidently unconscious of any definite under- 
standing with Mr. Tuer, he failed in the early part 
of 1884 to send an original sketch to his friend as 
heretofore had been his custom. In February of 



1 86 C|iarle0 %eene 



that year Mr. Tuer wrote to ask him for it, believing, 
as he did, that the practice was the outcome of an 
exact arrangement. 

On the 15th of February, to his great distress — 
for he at once feared that Keene must have con- 
sidered him grasping and extortionate — he received 
the following letter : — 

" 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

[Felf. 14, 1884.] 

" Dear Tuer, 

** Let us have an understanding. These original 
drawings are my poor * stock-in-trade ' — my capital — 
my copyrights, etc. Do you wish to purchase this 
sketch as a matter of business ? If you want a 
replica of this in particular Til make one and give it 
you with pleasure in this case, but I can't undertake 
to do it always. I bought a relic of old Bewick at 
the sale — John s walking-stick that T. B. always 
used after his brother s death. The books went at 
an inordinate price. 

** Yours, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

To this Mr. Tuer replied as follows : — 

" 20, Netting Hill Square, W. 

[Feif. 15, 1884.] 

*' Your letter was a shock indeed, my dear Keene, 
but I am glad it was written. Your good opinion 
is worth more to me than all the drawings you ever 
did put together, and it's a sad thing that this 
miserable misunderstanding should have been going 



( 



SI 9^f0unlier0tanlifng: 187 



on for years. I always understood — how I got it 

into my stupid old head I do not know — that you 

considered an original contribution that you could 

accept for * Punch ' as a quid pro quo for your original 

sketch. I don't think that I was even aware at first 

that you ever disposed of your drawings. I simply 

felt proud to possess your drawings of my little 

jokes. On looking over the sketches that I have, I 

find that I supplied matter for all except three — 

one you gave me, one you gave my wife, and the 

other I took as a matter of business. * Let us have 

an understanding,' you say, and I earnestly say 

Amen to that ; so do, please put me right, for I am 

all at sea and dispirited. I am not dispirited about 

getting no more sketches. I would return what I 

have, but I know you would bundle them back by 

next post. 

** Very faithfully yours, 

*'AnI>. W. TUER." 

To this Keene replied : — 

** 239, King's Road, Chelsea. 

{Feb, 16, 1884.] 

" Dear Tuer, 

" I was sure »I had only to tell you of this 
present little embarrassment (there has been none 
between us hitherto, believe me) to make it clear to 
you. I have given away no end of these drawings, 
and shall do, I daresay, and would like to give them 
all, but, in fact, I have sold a great many to friends, 
and this is the most imperative reason for my looking 
at them as of any value ; besides, I have never insured 



1 88 Cfiarletf lieene 



my life, as I ought to have done, and have been 
brought to take heed of them on this account ; so I 
hope you won't think me greedy or selfish in speak- 
ing out to you on the matter openly. I have not 
got back the drawing of the Groom and the Doctor 
yet. You ought to see them before you take them, 
and ril forward them to you if you like, and I ask 
five guineas each if you take them, and am, 

" Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

Thus ended a correspondence which, seeing that 
the intercourse of these two was never for a moment 
strained thereby, shows the fine quality of a friend- 
ship which lasted uninterruptedly until the artist's 
death. 

From that time five pounds was the recognized 
price of the drawings, although Keene continued to 
send from time to time sketches and " inchoate 
scraps/' as he called them, as contributions to his 
friend's commonplace books. What Shakespeare 
makes Hotspur say might well have come from 
C. K.'s lips : — 

** ril give thrice so much land 
To any well-deserving friend ; 
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me, 
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair." 

In the latter part of this year an incident occurred 
which will be interesting as illustrating the pitfalls 
into which the providers of original jokes run the 
risk at times of falling, and the editorial shifts to 
which recourse must sometimes be had. 



a "Ctie0tnut** 189 



On November 24, 1884, Mr. Tuer wrote : — 

" 20, Netting Hill Square, W. 

** Dear Keene, 

'* Here is a double-barrelled one for you ! See 

over. 

" V. truly yours, 

*^And. W. Tuer." 

Double Picture. 



I 
I 

Host instructing Gardener, , ,^. 

, . 11 J • ' Dinner-party. — John goes 

who IS called upon to wait 1 . , , 

^ , , . T\- . round with two decanters. 

table at a Dinner-party. 



I 



"'Now, John, you quite under- 'Common sherry or inferior 
stand ; there will be best sherry claret, sir ? * " 
and best claret at dessert, and 
common sherry and inferior 
claret at dinner.' 

The story had been told to Mr. Tuer by a friend, 
whom he had rigorously cross-examined as to its 
originality, and who assured him that " the circum- 
stance had happened to one of his own acquaint- 
ances." On December 4th, and before Keene had 
acknowledged receipt of the joke, Mr. Tuer's atten- 
tion was drawn to the following paragraph in the 
current number of the ** Family Herald." His feel- 
ings of consternation and dismay may better be 
imagined than described : — 

** * They did not very often give dinner-parties,* 
says a sporting contemporary, * and never gave 
large ones, but at the little rhi7iions to which they 
did invite their friends they liked everything of the 
best. So, on the afternoon of one of their choice 



I90 Cfiarle0 %eetie 



little feasts, the host summoned his boy in buttons, 
and said : '* Now, John, you must be very careful 
how you hand round the wine." ** Yes, sir." *' These 
bottles with the black seal are the best, and these 
with the red seal the inferior sherry. The best 
sherry is for after dinner; the inferior sherry you 
will hand round with the hock, after the soup. 
You understand — hock and the inferior sherry after 
soup ? " " Yes, sir, perfectly," said the boy in buttons. 
And the evening came and the guests came, and 
everything was progressing admirably till the boy 
went round the table asking of every guest, " Hock 
or inferior sherry ?" Everybody took hock.' " 

Here was a joke that he had put Keene to the 
trouble of illustrating, and it turned out to be a 
"chestnut." However, there was nothing left but 
to make a clean breast of the matter, and to rank 
himself with Pope's creations, who — 

" Own stale nonsense which they ne'er invent" 

He accordingly wrote : — 

" 20, Netting Hill Square, W. 

[4 D^c, 1884.] 

** Dear Keene, 

** To my annoyance and consternation that 
double-shotted picture anecdote — or, rather, some- 
thing like it — about ' common sherry or inferior 
claret,' appears in this week's * Family Herald,' but 
where the deuce they managed to pick it up I have 
not the ghost of an idea. 

" V. truly yours, 

" And. W. Tuer." 



sin (Ebftorfal 9^afce0|nTt 



191 



In the meantime Keene had written, delighted 
with the situation, and saying that a subject had been 
made of the suggestion. 

Mr. Tuer thereupon wrote as follows : — 

** 20, Netting Hill Square, W. 

[5 December^ 1884.] 

"Dear Keene, 

" Our letters must have crossed. Not knowing 
what course you will now pursue in regard to the 
double picture — * Common sherry or inferior claret, 
sir ? ' — I only wish to say that should it be with- 
drawn I will, of course, still purchase the sketch. 
There is one thing to be said, and that is, that the 
story as given in the * Family Herald' is not, to my 
mind, by any means so good as that sent to you by 

" Yours ffly, 

**And. W. Tuer." 

However, the drawings were too good to be 
wasted, and on January 24, 1885, ^hey appeared 
with the following "legends": — 



" Cause 



AND 



Effect. 



*•*• Host (to Coachman, who is 
turned on as Butler on grand 
occasions), I want you to see 
that all my guests enjoy them- 
selves, Coggledab. Don't let 
them have to ask for anything. 
Be particularly attentive to my 
dear atint, Mrs. Dumbledock. 



Cogi^Udab (in a stage ivhisper, 
during a lull in the conversation, 
to Mrs. Dumbledocky who has 
recently joined the Blue Ribbon 
Arniy), 'Ollands, whiskey, or 
cog-nack, mum ? You can't be 
'nj'yin' of yourself. You're not 
drinhWf 

[Mrs. Dumbledock alters her 
Will the next day,] " 



192 C|iarle0 lieene 



Having thus dealt with the collaboration of Keene 
and Mr.Tuer, we now come to the far more elaborate 
association of Keene with his most intimate friend, 
Mr. Joseph Crawhall, whose name is familiar to all 
those who interest themselves in old songs and 
ballads, and whose masterpieces of quaint humour in 
*' The Compleatest Angling Book," ** Chap-book 
Chaplets," etc., etc., have met with such wide appre- 
<:iation. 

With Mr. Crawhall. Keene, as will appear else- 
where from the correspondence, was on terms of the 
fullest intimacy, and had a variety of tastes in 
<:ommon. Their friendship was known by the artist's 
relations to have existed for many years, but it will 
be news to most to learn to what extent the pages 
of ** Punch,'' which are embellished by the pen of 
C. K., are indebted to the keen wit and sympathetic 
assistance of the author of ** Border Notes and 
Mixty-Maxty." 

Prior to making Charles Keene's acquaintance, 
Mr. Crawhall, ever a great lover of things quaint, 
grotesque, and jocular, had been in the habit of 
jotting down any telling incident he might hear 
of or observe, illustrating it at leisure in colours 
for his own amusement. This he had done for 
many years, little guessing what honour and pub- 
licity was reserved for these rough drawings in the 
future. 

As good fortune would have it, about the year 

1872 a Mr. Henry Shield, a mutual friend of Keene 

and Mr. Crawhall, saw these drawings, and at once 



3|o0ep]^ Cratol^all 193 



realized to what excellent use C. K. could, if he 
were given the opportunity, put them. Mr. Crawhall 
gladly acceded to the proposal that an introduction 
should be brought about for this purpose, and — 
Keene being in Newcastle at the time — that friend- 
ship then commenced which, to say the least of it, 
was to prove the greatest possible boon to his bio- 
grapher. Wanting it, it is doubtful if we should ever 
have known Charles Keene as a letter-writer in any 
measure out of the common. 

The following account of Mr. Crawhall's sur- 
roundings, from a letter written by Keene to Mr. 
Stewart in 1877, w^^' t)e of interest : — 

"You'd have liked his house, crammed full of 
curios, and of the best. On his walls the rarest 
prints and etchings, etc. — and he knows all about 
them, too — a few pictures and drawings, several oil 
pictures of Blacklock's, and no end of books, armour, 
arms, and any amount of Pots and Plates of his own 
painting. The china he goes in for is almost exclu- 
sively English, especially Bow and Chelsea. This 
is my fancy. I did not see a bit of blue. . . . Craw- 
hall has a lot of autograph letters. He generally 
frames one along with the portrait. ... C. is a 
great smoker, and gets up every morning at four, 
comes down and has a pipe and does an hour s work 
(painting), and then goes to bed again ! and enjoys 
his breakfast with the rest at the usual time (this is 
original, I think)." 

Keene was delighted with Mr. Crawhall's quaint 
collection of original pictures, and the latter, as time 

o 




-= -1.. *C(i»>-¥'"-^^ \ 







From "Punch" Novaiiber lo, 1877, 
A Modern Athenian. 
Southern Tourist (in Edinburgli) -. " Can you direct me to the 
Royal Institution?' 
Native (witijn/j/nri-): "What est?" 

ToUKIST {giving a due) : " Pictures, you know — siatucs^and " 

Native {a/ter much thought): "Oo— ei's the stukky feggars ye 
"wan ! " — {pointing)- -" Von's et ! " 



196 C|iadefi( lleene 



went on, placed them freely and unreservedly^ at 
his disposal, without expectation of, or indeed desire 
for, any return or recompense. This, however, was 
not Keene's view of the matter. He was not one to 
take without giving, and he gracefully ** rewarded" 
(I use Mr. CrawhalFs own expression) his friend by 
presenting him with a series of sketches, which it 
must, I think, be the great pride of Mr. Crawhall's 
life to possess. Indeed to such an extent did C. K. 
carry this system of ** reward " that after a time his 
friend began to be embarrassed, and told him that 
if he insisted upon continuing this too generous 
practice there would be a risk of their falling out, 
** for," said Mr. Crawhall, " you don't know the value 
of your work. The reward is too great, and our 
happy connection must cease if you put me under 
these obligations." 

The custom thus ceased, but Keene would rarely 
miss an opportunity of sending a sketch when there 
was any plausible ground for doing so, generally 
accompanying it with some shame -faced excuse. 
For example, writing on August 8, 1883, he says: 
*' I send you a sketch for your gallery. You must 
bear with me and accord me this pleasure and 
privilege, especially as I make such free use of the 
albums.'' 

The generous nature of this contest sufficiently 
speaks for itself, but I cannot refrain from adding 

^ This was in 1877, for we find him writing to Stewart in 
October of that year : " IVe heard from Crawhall. He says I 
may have any sketches out of those books of his I like." 



Collaboration 197 



the following charming extract from a letter bearing 
the postmark July 10, 1880 : — 

" I want you to do me a great favour, to let me 
give up * Ahasuerus/ ^ I can't tell you how strongly 
I have felt your rare generosity and unselfishness in 
letting me browse so freely in your pastures. Con- 
sider how much I've been beholden to you already. 
. . . If we consider it seriously it won't do for it 
to come out in your book after it has appeared 
in 'Punch/ ... It's a capital subject (I'm certain 
you evolved it from your own humorous conscious- 
ness), and you ought to have the benefit of it 
* fresh,' so make me comfortable by a line that you 
agree." 

The number of these suggestions culled from the 
albums was certainly not less than two hundred and 
fifty, and may have been considerably greater, but 
no complete record has been kept. Through the 
kindness of Mr. Crawhall, however, I am enabled to 
give a list of more than two hundred, which will, 
I think, prove interesting to those who have leisure 
to study C. K.'s *' Punch" work.' 

The first outcome of this delightful partnership 
was a charming instance of one of the *' great un- 
paid" committing himself instead of the prisoner. 
** Prisoner," he says, ** you're discharged for this time 
with a caution, but, if we see you here again, you'll 
get twice as much ! ! " This appeared under the 
heading **A Narrow Escape," on September 6, 1873. 



* The picture was finished and ready at any time to be sent in. 

* See Appendix B. 



198 deadest lieene 



The last was called "At the Zoo," and will be found 
in " Punch" for April 5, 1890. 

Only once during these seventeen years did Mr. 
Crawhall's portrait appear. This was on March 11, 
1882, in the cut entitled ** Lapsus Linguae."* In it 
Keene has represented his friend as the '* Pater." 

For the first year or two of their intimacy the col- 
laboration would seem to have been only occasional, 
but towards the end of 1876 we find a letter which 
would appear to have been the immediate forerunner 
of what, in the middle of 1877, developed into a 
systematic co-operation. " Dear Mr. Crawhall/' it 
runs, " many thanks for the loan of the sketch-books. 
I enjoyed them again and again with renewed chuck- 
lings, but what a mouth-watering larder to lay open 
to a ravenous joke-seeker! Mayn't I have one for 
'Punch'? If I don't have a prohibitory postcard 
(which I hope you won't hesitate to send me if 
you've the slightest objection), I can't choose but 
make free ! '* 

A few quotations here from Keene's subsequent 
letters, referring to the obligations he felt himself 
under to his fellow-labourer will not be out of place. 
He was almost morbidly afraid lest more credit 
should be given him ultimately by the public than 
was his due. He was the last person in the world 
to subscribe to " those grand laws of the universe," 
as expounded by George Eliot's Euphorion in ** The 
Wasp Credited with Honey," * ** in the light of which 
Mine and Thine disappear and are resolved into 

' See opposite. ^ " Impressions of Theophrastus Such." 




From "^Piiiufi," March Ii, 1882. 

Lapsus Lingu.i;. 
IV, look here, my boy ; I can't have these laie hours, 
ir age my father wouldn't let me stay out after dark." 
"Humph! Nice sort o' father you must have had, I 



Pateb. 
When I wa 

FiLiUS. ' 
should say." 

Pater {waxing). " Deuced sight better than you have, you 
young— 



\Chccks himself, and ci 



200 Cl^arled lieene 



Everybody s or Nobody s, and one man s particular 
obligations to another melt untraceably into the 
obligations of the earth to the solar system in 
general." 

Writing on July 24, 1880, he says: "I wish I 
could manifest the obligations I am under to you in 
the help youVe so generously afforded me in * Punch.' 
. . . Let us draw up a form of * affidavy ' on my part 
to insert in your * Albums/ " 

On March 27 of the same year he had written : 
" I want to draw up a solemn * affidavy * to insert in 
your book of * Quips/ It ought to be in Latin 
(canine), ' Cognoscite omnes homines his prasentibus^ 
etc., to the effect that * Punch' and I are indebted to 
you for these originals, so that posterity may not 
make a mistake. ... In the last book I think you 
have surpassed yourself, but some that I liked best 
I'm afraid they wouldn't have. That's a screamer 
of the tradesman recommending his revolver as a 
bridal present." 

Again, in August, 1885: "Don't think I've con- 
fiscated the Albums. I may make a final cull for 
next * Almanack,' and then return them with a formal 
affidavit of my obligation to them." 

And again, on August 6, 1887: ** I've done that 
little incident you suggested of the couple who went 
for a day in the country, when Joan got a little 
ruffled at Darby's leaving her to take the tickets. 
They'll spoil it in the engraving, but you shall have 
the drawing. It's scaring to think what I should 
have done without the Albums. I had marked down 



"9?em0* for tje 9?ooM** 201 

a lot to save for the Almanack, but alas ! Tm draw- 
ing upon this capital/' 

These may stand as fair examples of the acknow- 
ledgments of personal indebtedness which he was 
constantly making to his friend. Others will be 
found in the correspondence. 

Whilst on the subject of the sources from which 
C. K. drew his inspirations, it will be interesting to 
note that the ideas for his two last sporting pictures 
were taken from an extremely rare book, written and 
illustrated in lithography by Mr. Crawhall's father in 
1827. The book was called ** Grouse Shooting 
made Quite Easy to Every Capacity, by Geoffrey 
Gorcock." The "Punch" pictures were headed 
" Mems. for the Moors,'* and appeared respectively 
on September 7 and September 21, 1889. Mr. 
Crawhall, senior, besides being a great sportsman, 
was clever both with pen and pencil, and had learned 
the art of lithography from Alois Senefelder, the 
inventor of that method. 

And here another note may be made for the use 
of those who value their " Punches," and above all 
the C. K. cuts in them. It is only a wonder that 
the following prototype of the philological incident of 
1886 — of which we shall treat anon — did not bring a 
hornet's nest about the ears of the Fleet Street staff. 

On November 8, 1879, appeared a cut headed 
'* Volumes," with this legend attached : — 

''Amateur Composer. Heard my new song ? 

''Candid Friend {unth a pci-ceptible shudder). Oh 
Lor ! I hope so ! ! " 



202 CJarlesf lieene 



The word **last" before "new song" had been 
omitted, and the whole point of the thing was lost. 

This, of course, was only a printer's error, but 
there were other occasions upon which Keene had 
bitterly to complain of the way in which his legends 
were deliberately cut about, and their epigrammatic 
poignancy lost. 

This "editorial sapience,'* as he called it, made 
him very indignant. His own misfortunes of the 
kind he bore philosophically enough, but there is a 
sc€va indignatio in some of his letters when dealing 
with the outrages perpetrated upon the work of his 
collaborator which we are not prepared for. 

He must, indeed, have felt deeply the mangling of 
his friend's keen wit to bring his kindly pen to write 
with such bitter sarcasm. 

In '* Punch's Almanack for 1880" (published 
December 12, 1879) there is a grand picture bearing 
the title " Comminatory." The legend runs : — 

" Scotch Field Preacher. Ah see ye ahint the 
stanes there, laddies ! Smocken — E — h ! But ye may 
smock — an' ye may smock " {crescendo) " an' ye may 
smock, but ye'll smock gey an' sairer whaur y re 
gaun tae." 

Now, "gey an* sairer" is not Scotch. A Scotch- 
man will say, "My head's gey sair" — i,e,, "very 
sore" — or, "my head's gey sairer than yours"; but 
to say " gey an' sairer " is to say " very and sorer," 
which is nonsense. 

The original words of the preacher had run — "Ah 
twig ye ahint the stanes there, laddies — smockin — 



(Cbftorfal Sapience 203 

but ye may smock — an* ye may smock — an' ye may 
smock — but ye'll smock faur sairer whaur yeVe 
gaun tae." 

On this subject Keene wrote to Mr. Crawhall on 
December 15th : ** When I saw the Almanack I was 
in a great rage that they had altered your legend 
in the drawing of the Scotch preacher, and wrote 
instanter to the sapient editor. I enclose copy. V\\ 
never forgive him." 

This was when Tom Taylor still reigned at 85, 
Fleet Street. It was a perilous thing to tamper with 
the work of so conscientious a labourer as C. K., 
unless there was full knowledge to prompt the cor- 
rection. 

The periodical providers of jokes and good stories 
must needs have good memories. There is always 
the risk attaching to subjects obtained as original 
from outside sources that they may turn out to be 
"chestnuts.** Happily for Keene his mind retained 
a point once he had heard it. An example may 
be quoted. Writing on July 5, 1886, to Mr. Craw- 
hall, he says : '* Your story (how history repeats 
itself!) of the twins, and the youngster s asking which 
his father means to keep, is a great antiquity (Leech 
did it in * Punch ' years ago), in spite of which I often 
have had stray suggestions of it ever since.** 

Of course it must be distinctly understood that it 
was only a certain proportion of Keene*s subjects 
that were not of his own invention. A large number, 
no doubt, were the outcome of his own observation 
and experience. ** Here's a subject/' he writes to 



204 Ctiarle0 %eene 



Mr. Crawhall on September 29, 1888 — " Here's a 
subject IVe just done, thought it *out of my own 
head ' : — 

" ' Andicapped. — Jail Bird {Jiaving just picked 
landlord's pockef). Amerikin watch ! Shabby old 
'umbug ; and 'im a man o' property, too ! Ugh ! 
What 'ith downright fraud like this 'ere an' co-ercion 
an' what not, a poor man ha'n't got a chance ! " 

But that his imagination in this direction was not 
extraordinarily fertile is, I think, evident. Once, 
however, his sense of humour was set in motion — 
once his mind seized upon a conceit or a fancy, his 
quick artistic sympathy came into play, and his 
imagination knew instinctively its essential, pictorial 
requirements. In a word, his imagination was of the 
very highest order, but it was graphic, not literary. 

To sum up, then, Keene's humour was the humour 
of observation rather than the humour of invention. 
An acute observer of Nature, an eager spectator of 
the passing expressions and moods of his fellow- 
creatures, an impressionist of the finest quality, given 
a subject which he could fully appreciate, and he 
would picture it with an unerring certainty, an un- 
compromising realism. 

** Our People" is not a mere picture-book. 
Opening its pages is like opening a series of windows 
and finding Nature herself informed and animated by 
her best spirit of unexaggerated fun. Where Keene 
attempted to be more humorous than his mistress — 
and this was always against the grain — he signally 
failed. In no sense could he rival the antics and 



Sift !^umourf0t 



205 



extravagances of Rowlandson, Gillray, and Cruik- 

shank. 

"An hideous figure of their foes they drew, 

Nor lines, nor looks, nor shades, nor colours true, 

And this grotesque design expos'd to public view." 

or him it may be said he drew his inspiration 
from Nature, and was content not to " improve " 
upon what she chose to manifest to him. 




CHAPTER IX. 

1874— 1878. 

Trip abroad.— Letter, Christmas Day, 1874. — His love of ani- 
nials. — The Royston Crow. — A surgical operation. — The cacoethts 
eolligetidi. — Flint implements. — A characteristic note. — Fifteen shil- 
lings for an arrow-head. — A take-in. — A theorbo. — A "curling- 
pin." — De Loutherbourg. — Letter, April 23, 1875. — Lc iter, August 
21, 1875. — A chess-player. — Problems. — Letter, May 1876, — A 
disagreeable occurrence. — Loss of Tigbourne Cottage. — Visits to 
Mr. Birket Foster. — The Macdonalds of Kepplestone. — "Fly 
Leaves." — Letter, July 13, 1877. — Mr, Siacy Marks' prophecy. — 
Letter, August 6, 1877. — Lawn tennis. — Letter, .August 37, 1877. 
— Bagpipe contest. — Letter, October 6, 1877. — Letter, November 
9, 1877. — Member of "The Anti-Restoration Society." — Hatred 
of "quacksalvers." — Letter, undated. — Letter, March 30, 1878. — 
mfortunate mistake. — Letter, May 24, 
as Book-collector.— A Tory amongst 
— .\ pet scheme. — Letter, August 16, 
— Keene as Cartoonist. — Letter, 



Mr. Crawhall's 
1878. — A Book-reader as IV 
Whigs. — Mr. Anstey-Guthrie.- 
— Letter, August 20, 




—Letter, November z 



—Letter, Decem- 



4gN 1875 Keene went abroad to "Trier, 

in Rhenisli Prussia — Saarbruck — Bin- 

fe gen — down the Viney Rhine — Cologne, 

^ and through Holland, Rotterdam, and 



IReeH 3|n0triiment0 207 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

** Tigbourne Cottage, 
" Witley, Godalming, 
" Surrey. 

" Christmas Day ^ [1874]. 

" Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

"... Mr. G. Grove, formerly manager of the 
Crystal Palace, a learned musical amateur, is writing 
a Dictionary of Music (I think) and Dr. Stone, a 
London amateur, is doing the Reed instruments. 
He called on me to borrow a set of pipes, was much 
interested in the Northumberland set and borrowed 
them too to be drawn for the work — by the same 
token spoilt my best reed by putting it in his mouth 
as if it was a common hautboy ! I also lent him my 
MS. book, my copies from yours, and appreciate 
more fully your kindness in lending me yours, for 
Tm in a stew about it, lest it should accidentally 

come to grief. Dr. S is an enthusiast, plays the 

bassoon and double ditto, and is an authority with 
the profession on the Reed family ; says he could 
make a Northumberland chanter reed. I challenged 
him to do it! Tm writing to old Reid to make me 
\os. worth. 

" Tm sorry to say Tve not been practising the 
pipes much this winter ; cold weather isn't conducive 
to much suppleness in the finger-joints, and I've a 

* This letter, though begun on Christmas Day, was not finished 
till Jan. 30th, 1875, Keene having in the interval paid a visit to 
London. 



2o8 evaded lieene 



big old Spanish guitar that's an 'Amati' for sweet- 
ness, and Tm seduced in my fireside leisure to twang 
mellifluous chords thereon to some Lied of Weber s 
rather than the * breathing chanter ! ' There was a 
music sale at Puttick and Simpson s this week, and 
I see among the instruments was * a clavecin in black 
and gold case in excellent preservation/ I should 
have liked to have seen this ! Don't forget to tell 
me of the treasures you pick up. Next to getting 
them yourself, or perhaps better, it is very interest- 
ing to me. There was a sale in Godalming the 

other day of some properties of the late Inskipp, 

the painter. It seems he was a great Piscator, and I 
brought off a * lot ' of a salmon rod, two bait cans, as 
big as slop-pails, two enormous landing-nets (do for 
a good-sized shark), and a Brobdignagian fishing- 
basket, about two or three feet wide, for fourteen 
shillings ! the cheapest lot in the sale, I was told. 
Hook, the painter, disregarded the Tenth Command- 
ment openly in respect of this basket ; part of it was 
a little broken from wear. * For God s sake, don't 
get it mended ! ' he implored. He is borrowing it, 
and it will be immortalized on his canvas, I've no 
doubt ! I heard a good story the other day, if it s not 
old, of an English swell on his first visit to Scotland. 
At his first sight of a plate of porridge, on coming 
down to breakfast at his hotel, rings the bell violently 
for the waiter, points to the viand and indignantly asks, 
* I say, waiter, what beast has done this ? ' I've had 
a Royston crow sent me, who has lost a leg in a rat- 
trap, just above the heel, so the poor bird is very 



■tf ■> 



91 S^dimeU Croto 209 



helpless. We think of fitting him with a wooden leg 
in this way,^ but Tm afraid he'd be bothered in 
perching. I keep him at my studio, have cut his 
wing and let him out every day in the garden, saving 
his life often from the cats. I think they would find 
him a ' Tartar,' taking him for a pigeon, no doubt, if 
he had both his legs. It's touching to see how he 
keeps by the wall so that he can lean against it, and 
his efforts to clean his wing and tail feathers, and 
preserve his balance, is painful to see ! RIy friend 
P. Morris, who has the other studio in the house 
with me, is even more zoological than I. He has got 
four fallow hinds and threatens a buck. His idea 
now is to sink an old bath in the middle of our 
garden, fill it with a few buckets of water, and have 
a swan ! and some ducks ! * The reflections in the 
water would be so jolly ! ' I've the greatest difficulty 
in choking him off! They are going to send me up 
an unmaimed carrion crow from Norfolk. There is 
a good deal of character in the corvines. I had a 
jackdaw that was a Hotspur of birds for choler; 
quite tame and good-tempered with all the family . 
if a stranger appeared he would turn to a shapeless 
black lump from all his feathers being on end, and, 
unable to caw from choking, he would tumble to the 
intruder and send his beak right through his boot. 
What is the bird on your crest, a chough ? Can you 
tell me what would be a fair price to give for a decent 
copy of 'Bewick's Birds'? I rather like a book to 
look as if it had seen service. I've got the *quad- 

^ Here comes a sketch of a wooden bird*s-leg. 

P 



2IO Cfiarletf licene 



rupeds/ certainly a * used copy.' I was * taken * with 
a marginal note in it, scrawled in a girl's hand in 
pencil over the print of the Opossums, — * nasty dis- 
gusting animals ! ' but the impressions are good 
enough. What an artist he was ! I send you the 
pastoral round from *Pammelia'; you may accompany 
your choir in the third line on the penny whistle ; it s 
very pretty ! Excuse its being a * used copy.' I'm 
looking forward to a visit to the Highlands this 
year to see A. Stevenson, of Tynemouth, whom you 
know. He has asked me before, but I've never 
been able to go. One reason was that I've a friend 
in Edinburgh who would have been dreadfully riled 
at my going North and not spending the best part of 
the time with him, but he tells me he is going to St. 
Kilda (!) this year, so that gives me a chance. I 
have not time for both. I shall take my pipes, in 
the hopes of finding a lonely glen to practise in ; 
that's the worst of the instrument ; grateful as its 
acid nasal tone is to my own ear, I'm of a compunc- 
tious disposition and I'm always more comfortable 
in playing out of earshot ! What I sigh for is a 
tract of lonely sea-shore on a hard sand. Gardiner, 
in his * Music of Nature' (have you the book?) 
says the roar of the sea is in F, but all's one for 
that. I'm afraid you must be pretty well bored by 
this time with all this, so I'll * knock off.' I dare not 
read what I've written. Perhaps I've repeated 
myself. Against your Quern, my last antique I 
have to show is a tinder-box, flint and steel, and an 
original ha'porth of brimstone matches, given me 



lioht of Slnimalg 211 



the other day ; — thought of sending it to South 
Kensington. Item, a chipped flint, evidently for an 
arrow-head, picked up in a sandy common in Surrey. 
And the promise of a lot of ancient pipes from a 
friend, the city architect, who is digging up about 
Billingsgate Market. I hear there is another book 
of pipe music coming out by Ross, the Queen's 
piper. I want to show my transcript of your book of 
tunes to Tom Chappell, the author of the English 
collection. I think he'd be surprised, that is, if you 
would not mind. Hoping you'll excuse me for this 
'bald, disjointed chat,' 

** I am, 

** Yours very truly, 

''Charles S. Keexe." 

Keene had a great love for animals of all kinds. 
In the days of the Strand Studio he had induced the 
rats, with which the old house was infested, to come 
every day to regular meals, and the " Royston Crow," 
mentioned in the preceding letter, was well known 
to visitors at the Queen's Road Studio. 

On a visit to Mr. Charles Edwards, at Bridgham 
Hall, Norfolk, father of his friend Edwin Edwards, 
he had prevailed upon the bailiff to catch him a 
carrion crow for a pet. Unfortunately in the process 
its leg was broken, which necessitated amputation 
and the construction of the " surgical aid " here 
mentioned. In the early part of the above letter, 
which has not been quoted, dealing, as it does, 
mainly with matters of private interest, Keene 
speaks of a friend who " was when he lived in 



212 Cftarle? I&eene 



London an omnivorous collector of knick-knackets, 
and has a most magpieish assortment," " which," he 
might have added, ** also am I." 

He himself had the cacoethes colligcfidi strong upon 
him through life. From flint implements to book- 
plates; from old musical instruments to cookery- 
books — of which he had a large collection priced from 
one penny upwards, — all that was curious and antique 
was fish for his net. Of the first-named he became a 
most enthusiastic collector after having formed a 
nucleus from those brought together by a gentleman 
who had been forced to sell. The following is a 
characteristic note on this subject to his friend Stewart, 
to whom he had previously written, saying that he had 
lost a flint and was sure he had handed it to him. 

'* II, Queen's Road West, 
**Dear Jack, "Chelsea. 

" Gaudeamus ! 
" Tve found the chip from Dartmoor! and my 
pleasure is only spoilt by the regret of having fancied 
I had handed it over to you. 

" Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

On another occasion he writes to Mr. Crawhall : 
**rve had a gnawing sorrow on my mind the last 
week or so — lost one of my best flints ! Such is life ! ' 
And again : *\Vas at a sale at Sotheby's this week, 
bought a few flints, nothing particular, but prices very 
high. Canon G.^ was rather shocked at my having 

^ Canon Greenwell. 



iFHnW 213 

given fifteen shillings for an arrow-head, but flints 
have risen so much apparently that I am reconciled. 
I'll show this arrow-head against any in Christendy." 

Again : " I met J. E. the other night (flint imple- 
ments) and had a long chat with him and liked him 
very much. He must have a fine collection ; seems 
to go in for everything ; and he is constantly finding 
flints, but then he knows where to look for them. I 
hope some day to see his treasures.*' Again : " I found 
a letter from Lord R. and called on him this morning. 
There were a couple of boxes full of scrapers. I 
picked out about thirty from those found in Suffolk 
and Norfolk and forty from Yorkshire. He gave me 
two specimens from Cissbury Hill, in Sussex! one from 
Maidenhall Drift in Suffolk, and a small axe from 
Peru, and three arrow-heads from America, a very 
nice lot altogether. He has a magnificent collection, 
but he keeps them mostly in Edinburgh. He said 
he had none from Surrey, and I told him I would 
send him some." 

On one occasion he was amusingly ** gulled," with 
what indignation may be imagined. ** I was ' sold ' 
the other day," he writes to Mr. Crawhall. *' I saw 
advertised two books, * The Caves of South Devon, 
etc.,' and * A Critical Examination of the Flints from 
Brixham Cavern.' I rushed and bought em the 
first opportunity, and found they came from a 
Religious Society, established by a sort of Pograms 
and Hot-Gospellers, and were written to prove that 
the flints were all shaped accidentally by wobbling 
about in Noah's Flood, etc., etc. !" 



214 Cfiarleg Heene 



And this of his precious paleo-liths, to which he 
had devoted a chest of drawers, stowing away his 
clothes in brown paper parcels underneath ! All 
through his letters we find allusions to curiosities he 
had either just succeeded in or just missed picking 
up. For example : ** I picked up a pretty old Psalter 
since I wrote last. * The whole Booke of David's 
Psalms both in Prose and Meeter, with apt Notes 
to sing them withall, etc., 1635.* Diamond-headed 
notes, no bars, but the tunes, as I can spell them out, 
very quaint and grim. I can hear them sung by a 
sort of prick-eared baritones through their noses in a 
conventicle, and see their steeple-crowned hats and 
Geneva cloaks hanging on the walls." Again : ** Tell 
me,'* he writes to a friend, '* when you write, of any 
additions to your collection of antiquities you may 
have made. I heard of a friend, an artist, who 
bought an old theorbo,^ from five to six feet high, at 
Christie's last week, for five pounds. I'm rather 
glad I did not know of it, as I might have been 
tempted to lavish my money on it ! for of the collect- 
ing of books and instruments there is no end." 

Again: *' I've got a real * tirling-pin,' and have 
fixed it to my bedroom door. I bought it out of 
a heap of old iron in Aberdeen Market. This is 
parlous news that you have * broken out ' into old 

^ A large double-necked lute with two sets of tuning-pegs, the 
lower set holding the strings, which lie over the fretted finger- 
board, while the upper set are attached to the bass strings, or so- 
called diai)asons, which are used as open notes. For further 
particulars, see Grove's " Dictionary of Music and Musicians," 
vol. iv. p. 100. 




2La WLivniofio 215 



furniture. IVe had a catalogue of a sale coming off 
in Belfast, from a friend there. IVe asked him to 
bid for a lot or two for me, c.^., * 16. Three religious 
silver medals, two silver heart-shaped do., silver 
fibula, with inscription : ** Ave Maria Gratia plena." 

" * 18. Curious wooden nutcrackers. 

***32. Seventeen clay and other old pipes; three 
brass and one iron do. 

" * 60. Fifteen flint arrow-heads, from i J to 3 inches 
long. 

"*6i. Three flint spear- heads, 4, 5, and 6 inches 
long, and eight javelin or arrow-heads, 2} to 3 inches 
long.' There are lots of * Querns ' ^ and other curious 
things in bronze. * Objects associated with the 
Rebellion of '98, and coins and medals.' It's well 
you had not this catalogue. The consequences would 
have been frightful." The ** tirling-pin " mentioned 
above, which he set great store by, he presented to 
his friend Mr. Hipkins shortly before his death. It 
is a corrugated piece of iron, which, smartly scraped 
with a small ring attached, gives most ample and 
startling warning of a visitor at the door. 

And yet one more quotation on this subject. ** I 
have picked up the third de Loutherbourg I was in 
search of, — ' The Battle of the Nile/ so my wall at 
home will have quite a last century, * Glorious British 
Navy,' air about it. These, with two or three others 
of the period, the Bewick litho (trotting-horse), you 
gave me, a drawing of Rowlandson's, and some 
etchings of Chodowiecki's, will stamp me a genuine 

^ Hand-miils for grinding grain. 



2i6 Cljaclee Ikeene 



aesthetic. These engravings — they are about 36 
inches wide, pure line-engraving — I gave about seven 
pounds for, and don't think they are dear, though 
I've had no experience in this line.*' 

With these enough has been said to show what an 
omniverous collector he was. We shall have further 
opportunities of observing the eclectic nature of his 
passion in the letters given /;/ cxtenso. 

To Joseph Crawhally Esq, 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea. 

[April 23, 1875.] 

** Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

" Tm afraid to think how long it is since you so 
kindly sent me the madrigals. My first impulse was 
to write off to you my thanks immediately, but I was 
not ripe for a real letter then, and it would have been 
a mere perfunctory one, which I hate, so I rashly 
put it off, thinking to send you one of my gossipy 

despatches in a few days ! And now it's but I 

mustn't think how long it was ago. Only I assure 
you I shall prize the volumes very much. I had one 
or two of the set, and yours make a valuable addition, 
and those old-world documents you kindly sent me 
have determined me to make a scrap-book for the 
like sort. I've been unusually busy lately, as I'm 
thinking of going to Treves with a friend, about the 
middle of May (I've seen the Black Forest in spring, 
and want to see it again), so in such case, I'm 
obliged to get forward with my work — not an easy 
matter. I suppose you've already been on Coquet side 



a^umcal 3injstrument2f 217 

with rod and creel. Tve hailed the advent of spring 
with skirling on the pipes, my fingers having thawed, 
and uncommonly exhilarating it is! It takes two or 
three days to get them into good playing order. I 
bought a very good set of half-size pipes the other day 
and find *em very easy to handle now, but had a great 
trouble in fitting the reeds. I fancy that's why you 
don't persevere with them, your not being able to get 
them in tune. I was sorry to hear of poor old Reid's 
death. Who's to make chanter reeds now ? Does 
his Rembrandtish old wife carry on the business ? I 
think, if I were you, I would secure that dulcimer, if 
I could get it cheap. I have never heard of *a 
Pastorella,' — I don't know about the fiddle ; I believe 
the German makers are not much valued: ^15 
seems a good price. Don't recollect the name of 
'Aubon Jaip' in Mittenwald, as one of the great 
makers. A friend of mine brought an instrument 
from the Tyrol, really in principle a viol, but played 
on now. You place it on a table or on your knee 
with the finger-board from yoti, fretted, which you 
finger with left hand, and play with a bow, drawing 
it across under the left arm. I shall try and get one. 
I should like to hear a six-part madrigal played with 
viols ! I don't know whether I shall get a holiday run 
into Scotland this year ; if I do I shall certainly try 
and have a day at Newcastle, for the pleasure of 
seeing you. I had an invitation from Alexander 
Stevenson, but he has unfortunately gone and 
married, so I suppose that has lapsed, but I've had 
another from F, Powell, the water-colour painter, to go 



2i8 CljarleiJ Heene 



a cruise in his yacht on the * Clyde ' ; whether I shall 
be able to manage it or no, I can't say. My friend 
in Edinburgh, a man of a Robinson Crusoeish turn 
of mind, is going to St. Kilda. He is going over in 
the Factor's boat, and trusts to chance and a passing 
ship to get back again ! He lately sent me two 
articles for my collection, — a flint arrow-head, picked 
up by his brother in Illinois, and a tooth from a 
stone coffin from Bute ! He thought the latter un- 
commonly interesting, so you see he is one of us. 
He tells me a friend of his, a lawyer in Edinburgh, 
gave him a letter written by a Highland chief in the 
seventeenth century. I think I shall try and get this 
from him for my new scrap-book. My old carrion crow 
is alive and flourishing, but Tm afraid lousy. I'm 
going to get some ' Staves acre,' * Stavis Agria ' — in 
English, lice-bane, viWe Gerard — and mix it with 
sand, wherein he may dust himself, and Tve had the 
promise of a raven in two directions. I saw the 
other day some lovely bird skins from Australia, sent 
to a friend of mine, a painter, one especially, a king- 
fisher, the same size as ours but of sadder colour, but 
quite exquisite. There was a Scotch doctor died in 
London the other day, and I see part of his library 
is to be sold. He was a Celtic scholar and an enthu- 
siast for the pipes and Highland music. He may 
have had a copy of Peacock. If there's anything 
interesting ril send you the catalogue. I told you 
I had a call from an amateur bassoon player (Dr. 
Stone), who was writing an article on the Reed 
instruments for a forthcoming Dictionary of Music 



^tic iFiWt il2ifl:l)tinfl:dle 219 



by G. Grove. I lent him a pipe-chanter and a set 
of Northumberland pipes, and my MS. book of 
tunes (he was much interested in the latter, thanks 
to you for your book). He has returned them and 
says he has done * the bagpipe.' He seemed to fancy 
he had got to the bottom of it, and I'm very curious 
to see what he says. I'll forward it to you when I 
get it. I went down to Witley on the 12th, pur- 
posely to hear the nightingales ; they have arrived 
for the last four years on the 13th, at about 1 1 p.m. 
This year they had not come on the 15th! and I 
had to come to town the next morning — a backward- 
ness unknown to the oldest inhabitant. A friend 
heard the wryneck in his garden at Hammersmith 
last Sunday. 

" Afay 8^/1, — Another reason my letter has been so 
long delayed is explained by the enclosed packet. I 
wanted to get an old friend of mine to make me some 
sketches from your book plate, and he is getting 
old and his eyesight is failing him, so we have 
to manage in a gingerly way to get anything from 
him. I had shown him your ' Book of Angling,' 
when I first had it, at which he was delighted. 
I thought yon had a fancy for heraldry, from your 
having inserted some coats of Border families in your 

MS. music book, and M is a master of the craft, 

and an artist therein, as I think you will see. I 
don't know anything about it, but that an old 
' armorial bearing ' is a pretty ' gay ' (a Suffolk word 
signifying 'picture'). I' have also sent you a few 
specimens to show you how they look engraved, and, 



220 Cfjarlejs '^zmt 



if you would like one engraved, I know the man 
who cut those of Foster Moncriefif and Heseltine, 
and would get it done for you. They are photo- 
graphed on to the wood. That one of S. W. Lawley 
is curious. I picked it up somewhere and found 

it was by a friend and pupil of M s. The 

design was rather tortured, but the fine crest showed 
the master ! I have not picked up anything in the 
curious line lately. I saw a fine old harpsichord 
lately at Puttick and Simpson's. It had been in a 
previous sale knocked down for ;^20, but not 
taken away and was put up again, but it was 
nearly as big as a small grand piano, and I 
don't know what it fetched ; it was in a black 
and gold case. I had a most outrageous leaden 
pilgrim's token sent me the other day — a bare- 
faced • Flint Jack,' — for my collection of Facetiae 
Antiqua^, but that requires a long explanation. 
A friend of mine with a genius for elaborate 
(innocent) practical jokes, had an idea of cultiva- 
ting the acquaintance of some real antiquaries, and 
of quietly giving out that he had a taste that way, 
and then gradually alluding to his own collection 
(which was really to be of the most artful shams), 
and at last to have the pleasure of displaying it 
to some amiable connoisseur, and to watch the 
expression of his face as he discovers how fright- 
fully his friend has been * done,' and to see the 
struggle in his mind as to whether and how he shall 
break it to him! ! I've been helping to collect these, 
and some of the items I think would amuse you, but 



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^iaS^aai 



"iFaceti*" 221 

they require to be seen! stuck on cards, etc., and 
labelled a la * South Kensington' ! E,g., I found the 
enclosed sketch in the flyleaf of an old MS. book. 
I shall mount it, labelled, * Portrait of Guido Faukes, 
sketched by one of the Jury!' Send me this back. 
If you are not bored by this fooling Til tell you 
of some of my other treasures in my next. 
** So adieu for the present, and 

'* I am, yours very truly, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawliall^ Esq. 

"Tigbourne Cottage, 
"Witley. 

August 21 j/ [1875]. 

** Dear Mr, Crawhall, 

" I got your jolly letter the day before and the 
Treason Mugg (Safe) on the day I started down here. 
I can't sufficiently thank you for both. The Pot is 
simply superb and will stand * primus' among the 
Facetiae. Though I admire it so, it seems past a joke, 
especially when I think of your trouble. The ^trumps' 
too, are a most acceptable collection ; and the one you 
notice with the cunnincr smith's work ornament is 
very commendable Who makes them ? I should 
like to think they w^ere fabricated by the Northumber- 
land gypsies that I've been reading about in W. 
Allen's Life (I picked the book up from a stall the 
other day, I dare say you know it), but I suppose, like 
most things now, they are made by the million in a 
factory! I was thinking the other day, reading 



222 Cljarled Heme 



Cobbett's • Rural Rides' (I have been picking up his 

works lately, and shall try and get them all, they are 

very amusing), how that vituperative old Briton 

would have cussed and swore if he had lived in these 

days of railways and machinery, and (over) bitter 

beer ! Have you his works ? I have his ' Rural 

Rides,' * The Northern Tour* and * Cottage 

Economy/ I want to get his ' English Gardener' 

and * Tour in France' and * History of Reformation/ 

etc. ; don't care so much for his purely political tracts ; 

you get plenty of that in all his books. 1 can't tame 

my Royston crow. When I first had him I used to 

catch and cage him every night — he has his liberty 

altogether now, but he always gives me a * wide berth/ 

I shall not cut his wing again, but give him his chance 

if it grows again, as he's plenty of * nous ' to get his 

living. I place food for him of a night, as he's an 

early breakfaster, and I find what he doesn't eat he 

hides and makes a light supper and a drink just before 

turning in at sundown. I've got into feud with the 

neighbours about him, having snared some of their 

cats, who had designs on him. I think they would 

have devoured him long ago, but he gives the most 

awful caw when thevcome near him, which disconcerts 

them. I should like to have the Lochiel raven, but 

I'm afraid you would have trouble about it, and that's 

absurd to ask such a price for the Rothbury bird, 

except for his conversational powers. We can get 

young ravens from Cornwall in Leadenhall Market, 

for a guinea, so say the word if you'd like a 

southerner. 



&r. TSiiir^a 223 



''^August 25///. 

"Your card about the raven was sent on to me 
here. I hope you won't be at any trouble about it, 
though I should like to have the bird. It is worth 
the higher price for the fancy (it being a long-lived 
animal) that its grandfather might have heard the 
^Camerons* Gathering' in 45, but it would be an 
awful long journey for the beastie. What sort of a 
house was it at Fassiferne (?) — ancient ? and the 
surroundings — impressive ? I've never seen the 
Highlands of Scotland, but I'm never tired of reading 
their story, and Tm interested in the race, as my 
oldest and nearest friend, and the finest disposition 
of any man I ever knew, is of Highland blood — a 
Stewart from Rannoch. I hope you practise on the 
pipe. Recollect that, if you master the practice-stick 
it will only take you a fortnight or three weeks, when 
you are in a convenient place, to attain to the bliss 
of being able to pour out your soul on the * Piob 
mohr!' I enclose you the tune I promised you; it 
is of the same marked character as ' Macpherson's 
Lament,' but, I think, stranger. 1 could not play it 
for some time for laughing ! Get it on your pipe 
before letting it be tried on the piano ; it's very easy 
to play. I told you a friend of mine was going to 
St. Kilda. He was there two months and escaped 
at last in a yacht that touched there for a few 
minutes ! (no harbour), but he was delighted with the 
place and people ; believes he could live there for 
ten pounds a year, and talks of publishing his account 
of it with sketches he made there. Mrs. Birket 



224 CIjQrU0 Heene 



Foster told me she had received a hamper of game 
from Alec Stevenson, who has taken his bride to 
their Highland home. A friend of ours who lives 
down here has gone up to shoot with him. By the 
bye, you may know him — Captain Nelson, R.N. — as 
he was stationed on the Tyne for some time ; com- 
manded a gunboat, I think. He is of the family 
(Norfolk) of the great admiral, and a very nice 
fellow he is. . . . 

"Chelsea, Sept. 2nd, 
** Tve just received the little Is. Wa. muglet, 
for which I thank you heartily, and feel my nascent 
passion for original pot-painting much aggravated. 
I've already got a grey mug like that Flanders ware, 
on which I shall try my hand, and hope to make 
you a return in kind. Young Willie Foster (Birket 
Foster s son) I found had been painting (blue) some 
plates very successfully, but his burning was not so 
successful as yours, as there was a roughness on the 
surface. Do you paint yours on the already glazed 
ware or previously to the glaze ? But I'll find all 
that out. I hope you won't think me heedless that 
I have not written before, thanking you for the 
Treason mug, etc., but I thought I should have got 
this off before, and I'd always rather write a long 
letter than a short one, as you can chatter more 
freely, and it is an excuse for carelessness ! The 
little mug was most securely packed. I had to per- 
form a Caisarean operation and cut it out of the 
Australian case with a pair of shears. I've got back 
to town for good now, I think, but it's very dull — 



C{)e0iS 225 

everybody away, the club shut up, and the days 
shortening. My Irish friend was in Northumberland 
lately, at Warkworth, I think. He asked me to 
inquire how it was that the Coquet trout were not 
very good to eat — tasteless, he thought. Those in 
the pond down at Witley are delicious ; there are 
some there four and five pounds weight ! I suppose 
it's the food. 

" I wonder if you or any of yours are chess 
players ? I send you a cunning problem. White 
has the move, and if he makes the right one, what- 
ever Black does, W. mates in his next move. I've 
drawn the men plainly. It's the best in two moves 
I ever saw. 

•* I can't keep the letter another day ; so good-bye, 
and many thanks again for the art treasures, and 

" Believe me, 

** Yours very sincerely, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

Keene was enthusiastic over chess as over every- 
thing that he took up, but, inasmuch as he required 
not unusually a quarter of an hour for a move, he 
was not much sought after as an antagonist, so he 
perforce fell back upon the solitary working out of 
problems. 

" I shall see M to-day," he writes. " I sent 

him some problems I had solved the other day, and 
he replied with some others. I send you one. I 
pore over these two moves and find them out with- 
out setting the men upon a board. It is amusing ! " 

Q 



226 Cfiarled lieene 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

''May, 1876. "Arts Club, 

"(Rec^ NoiK 26.) " Hanover Square, W. 

" Dear Mr. Crawhall, 

** I can't thank you sufficiently for so kindly 
interesting yourself in helping my old friend, but I'm 
sure if you knew him you would take to him as we 
all do. 

** Your mugs and plates are the envy of my 
friends, and I've decorated my studio walls with the 
latter. I shall be so delighted if I can do some- 
thing decent in the same way. I send you a little 
book with this for your library. I think I told you 
of my Scotch friend who was going to St. Kilda ; 
this book is the result. I really believe he will go 
and live there, and marry one of the fisher girls! 
but I doubt whether he'll improve these Celts by 
civilizing them, teaching them to be industrious, and 
to take to trading and making money, accomplish- 
ments he has never succeeded in teaching himself, 
by the bye ! but I think he writes and describes 
pleasantly and impersonally (the latter quality is rare 
nowadays), and this seems to me what he is fitted 
for — to wander and describe remote and uncom- 
fortable places. I asked him if there was any 
tradition among these people of that story about 
Lady Grange, who was carried there about some 
hundred years ago, but he had not thought of asking 
them. He has got his boat subscribed for, and is 
taking her there this spring. 



tClje "Pofnt of JHietD" 227 



" I went some time ago to see a friend, an artist, 
who lives in a remote village in Essex, Castle 
Hedingham, where, by the bye, is a splendid Norman 
Keep (was a castle of the De Veres) with all the 
floors except top (Oliver Cromwell of course) care- 
fully preserved and the windows wired. How I 
should like to live in it ! My friend offered me a 
quern that a man had dug up in a wood close by. 
It was made of a coarse sort of pudding stone, but 
enormously heavy, so I did not * rise ' at it, which 
I'm rather ashamed of. It was something like this.^ 
I suppose the hole at the side was for the stick to 
turn it with. There was a piece of the lower stone, 
upon which it was turned, with it, but I suppose this 
need not be very old ? This was the most rural and 
remote place for an artist that Tve seen, and filled 
me with envy ! It had been a farm-house, and he 
had added on a studio, a sort of baronial hall with 
rafters, etc. ; but, being in the house, the women folk 
invaded it and disturbed him, and so he gave it up 
to them, and it makes a charming morning room. I 
promised him an old shirt of mail I have to hang up 
in it, along with the old pictures, and add to the 
illusion. His studio now is in the corner of an old 
barn, more removed from the house ! 

**So much depends upon the point of view. This 
remoteness and rural quiet was such a grateful back- 
ground to his life of work, but his wife found it rather 
dull ! We were much amused, as I was describing a 
seaside village I knew of in Suffolk, and where I was 

* Here is a rough sketch of the stone. 



228 



Cf)acle0 %eene 



recommending him to go, as the place and people 
were picturesque, etc. My point of view was, that 
it was rather inaccessible and not much known to 
summer visitors. His 
wife wanted to know if 
there was a band there ! ' 
I thought of you one 
day in the village. We 
went into a shop, and I 
noticed a case full of old 
china and some white 
plates, answering the 
description of those you 
J^j wanted, but the master 
t^ was out and his wife 
said they were, a hobby 
of his, and he did not 
wish to sell them. I 
fancy my taste is much 
the same as yours in 
the china way. I'm very 
fond of the old English, 
but I've never ' gone in ' 
for it. The expense al- 
ways frighted me ; there 
seemed no bottom to it 
if you once began. Have you any of those mari- 
time punch-bowls ? I don't know what ware it is, 
but they have generally some particular ship painted 
on them and a verse or two about it ; I've noticed 
' Vide p. 87, "Our People." 




AN OSTLER. 



"CtifttttlngfoHi, tjerp rare** 229 

them in seaports. In Aberdeen I saw one or two 
fine ones, and should think they are well known in 
Newcastle. I suppose they were made for some 
ship in the old punch-drinking days. I have a 
gray drinking-mug that (I) shall try and do some- 
thing on if feasible ; I shall learn this from my 
friend de Morgan. Blue Japanese seems the fashion- 
able ware for the connoisseurs here. I confess Fm 
rather tired of it. I used to be down in Surrey a 
good deal once ; I had a share of a cottage and, one 
day at Haselmere, I bought a couple of very quaint 
plates with very roughly-painted Easternish figures. 
At that time there was a talk amongst us that there 
was formerly a pottery at Chiddingfold, a very small 
village close by. It was said to be mentioned in 
Drayton's * Polyolbion* (don't believe it). At any rate, 
I gave them to Birket Foster, and said most likely 
they were of this antient manufacture. Another friend 
heard this, who was shortly after in Aked's (a cele- 
brated dealer) shop, and the latter showed him a plate 
like these and he did not know what ware it was. Our 
friend enlightened him and the plate was immediately 
ticketed in the window * Chiddingfold, very rare ! ! ' 

** I knew an old ' curio ' once who had a craze for 
musical instruments, swords, and particularly any- 
thing mounted with shagreen ! and I caught a taste 
for the latter, and anything in a shagreen case always 
* pulls me up.* A curious coincidence happened. I 
had a friend who was an inventor in the matter of 
drums ! He invented the silent drum and patented 
another that collapsed in some way ; three of these 



230 CtiarleiS Hittnz 



were made, he had one and gave me one, and I found 
my friend, the shagreen curio — whose acquaintance I 
made years afterwards — had the third ! After his 
death I bought at his sale some knives in cases, an 
antique dirk, and some etui cases, but the Jews will 
run you up for these things ! How I hate to see their 
portentous noses in a sale-room, don't you ? 

** I don't know young Bromley much, have only 
met him once or twice. Was he angling up at the 
Coquet ? My Irish friend who fished in your river 
one summer (I think he met your brother there at 
the same sport) has been this year at some village 
on the Cornish coast, painting and fishing. He tells 
me he used to catch pollack (I'm not sure of the 
spelling) from a boat with a big feather for a fly. 
Whackers, three or four pounds weight, sometimes 
two at once ; they soon began to spoil his rod, so he 
made a rough one of pine that did just as well, and 
he seems to have had good sport. I should like to 
have seen those Bewick relics. I very often have 
disputation with my friend Boyce, the water-colour 
painter (you know his work I daresay, if not, I wish 
you did) ; he is an ardent Bewickian, but I maintain 
that Bewick was a greater artist than wood-engraver, 
and that he worked in and was hampered by an un- 
grateful material, that he could have done more with 
copper ; and I believe I place him higher than Boyce 
does. We have not beaten the old masters of wood- 
engraving in my opinion, but have tried to do too 
much with it and failed. 

" Do you know Reidel's designs for the Todtentanz 



&rott)arii 231 



and * Death the Friend' and * Death the Avenger' ? 
That's the sort of wood-engraving (modern) that I 
like. I don't think I've seen the photos you speak 
of from the old engravers. I never collected many 
steel-plate impressions, too expensive for me. Tve 
got a good many Stothards that I used to fancy very 
much and some by one Chodowiecki. Stothard used 
to draw for magazines without putting his name to 
the designs, and I used to like getting hold of these. 
There's no mistaking his * fist! * and there are several 
prints that I remember as a boy that I'm always on 
the look-out for, but have never seen since ; they are 
either by Wheatley or Morland. I had a wonderful 
little design of Chodowiecki 's, from which Leslie 
cribbed his figure of the Duenna in the picture of 
*Sancho before the Duchess,' but I've lost it ; some 
friend has bagged it no doubt. 

''October i . — What must you think of me for a corre- 
spondent! I've been going to write to you often, but 
then these portions of letter have not been to hand, 
stowed away in some sketch-book or folio, and then 
this summer has been a very busy and interesting one 
to me from a very violent new * craze' I've taken, 
about which I've so often been wanting to talk to you 
and now it has all accumulated, and I've so much to 
say that throwing it at you all at once rather appals 
me. My only hope is that, from a dim recollection 
in a letter of yours, your mentioning a certain * stane ' 
that you had picked up, and knowing you have a lot 
of querns, you will be able to bear with me. When I 
was laid up with my broken shin I read a lot of 



232 C^arlect lieene 



geological books, my first aquaintance with that lore. 
From that I came down to the * Antiquity of Man/ 
etc., etc., and then to Evans' 'Flint Implements' 
and Stevens' * Flint Chips,' and hoc genus omne. I 
seemed to be born again ! and just about this time 
I was going to the Suffolk coast for a week's holiday! 
I broke my journey at a country town where there 
was a sale of the effects of a man with whom I'd an 
acquaintance (an antiquary of course !') and amongst 
his treasures were some ' owd ston's ' ! Some of these 
I managed to bag, and about eight or nine splendid 
arrow-heads from Icklingham and thereabouts. I had 
to forego a splendid stone axe that they gave out the 
Ipswich Museum meant to run up to five pounds, but 
I was delighted with my acquisition. Then I went 
on to Dunwich (once in Saxon times the capital of 
East Anglia, seat of a bishop, etc , etc., which is now 
all under the sea, and a little village only left without 
a shop in the place). The country round about is 
healthy and warreny, and, by George, I couldn't keep 
my eyes off the ground. I think I helped to *scrab' 
at every rabbit-hole in the country side, and a farmer 
there showed me where a magnificent flint gouge had 
been picked up. This implement I find is well known,, 
and the son of the farmer, in whose possession it was, 
told me his heart was nearly broken when it was 
wheedled out of the old gentleman by an ardent 
collector. Col. Lane Fox ! This is enough at this 
time, but, bless your soul, more anon ! 

*' I'd a very pleasant visit at Dunwich. This is a 
charming, lonely place. I used to take my pipes to 



234 Ct)dcle0 lieene 



the beach about lo p.m. when the populace were 
asleep, and skirl away by the sad sea waves for an 
hour or so. It was awfully hot weather and I found 
the best thing to do was to walk briskly and sweat it 
out. I had one burst of sixteen miles one day with 
a youthful athlete, and when we got back heard to 
our surprise it had been the hottest day of the summer. 
Three miles off down the beach was a small seaside 
place, where my friend H. S. Marks was staying with 
his family, so we had society whenever we liked for 
the walking. I scratched on some copper-plates in the 
cool of the evening. I've not bitten them yet, but, if 
they turn out anything, Til send you some proofs. 
Whilst here, I fed my flame with a book, ' Ten Years' 
Diggings.' I am reminded how, when I was a boy, 
we knew an old gentleman who seemed to have only 
one idea, and that was this or that * Noble Barrow' 
that he had seen or dug. We used to think him 
great fun. I wish he had not died. After being 
there ten days and just beginning to enjoy the country, 
I had to come back to London to work ! — such is life ! 
The only other holiday I have had this year was about 
ten days I spent with poor Stewart at Witley, Surrey, 
and here I begin again ! Godalming is the nearest 
town (four miles) to this Surrey village, and it's the 
place we walk to for exercise or shopping. There is 
an old tradesman in the town, a seed and corn 
merchant, upon whom Jack Stewart and I generally 
call. He is a man of no learning, was a sailor in his 
youth, has prospered in his business, which I suppose 
goes on of itself, and now seems to spend all his time 



"Cliucfej? &tane0" 235 



in stuffing birds and animals. He has large ware- 
houses Hned with cases of every English bird — 
paints the backgrounds himself! and not badly, and 
hangingfrom the rafters, and shelved, muskets, swords, 
bows, arrows, stuffed alligators, fossils, books, har- 
poons, etc., etc. The most magpieish collector living he 
must be I should think. Stewart and I were hitherto 
interested in his birds and mediaeval gimcracks, but, 
when we went this time, full of our new craze^ found 
to our surprize he had been collecting pre-historic 

* Chucky stanes' for years ! and showed us a splendid 
lot! From his avocation he knows all the farmers 
and bucolicals over the country, shows 'em his types, 
and the country boys bring him bushels of flints. He 
showed us baskets full of rejected, but he told us he 
paid the boys for all, so as not to discourage them, 
and was very satisfied with the percentage of genuine 
ones he got by this means. He has a silver spoon, 
some flint flakes and what he says is a 'petrified 
human eye ! * he got himself from a tomb in South 
America when he was a seaman. He told us of a 
friend of his in Goldalming who had been picking up 

* stanes ' for years in the neighbourhood (they abound 
round about if you look sharp), and who was going to 
emigrate and he thought would part with his collec- 
tion. My heart leapt ! — in short, I got them for /^^ 
los, — about 300 Stewart tells me, for he managed the 
transaction for me, and IVe not seen them yet, but 
Stewart says they are the real article and the scraper 
types are very fine ! While we were at Stafford's on 
this occasion a farmer brought him the half of a 



236 C^arled Hittnt 



beautiful polished flint chisel he had found on the 
surface of a stubble field not a mile from Stewart's 
house. Apropos of all this I thought of a subject 
the other day for * Punch/ but too grim, of an 
Enthusiastic Pre-historical Antiquary boring an 
invalid friend about his specimens. * Invalid Frietid 
(gloomily) : I wish to goodness I could give you the 
stone in my bladder! * 

''November. — Is it possible? November, and 
page 15! and Tve not done yet. I received your 
kind remembrance in the shape of the Newcastle 
paper with the lecture in the midst of my hard work, 
and I could not bear to send you a short note with 
such a long bill due. The love of music (and the 
pipes) is part of my life. That, * chucky stanes ' will 
never cure me of. I should like to have heard that 
lecture. It touched me nearly where he spoke of 
one going into a shop and asking for a reed! I 
could have spared many a greater man than poor 
old James Reid. I am reedless. If you hear where 
I can get some let me know. I send you a Scotch 
slow march Tm very fond of, ' Lord Lovat's March.* 
I wonder whether it was played at the obsequies 
of that old Highland *rip'? I also send you a 
jeic (f esprit of Miles Foster's (Birket's eldest son), a 
good musician and a humorous (any Londoner will 
recognize the imitation), if they are worth a place in 
your pretty music-book. Birket Foster was in the 
North this autumn. I was very nearly going with 
him but for the ' daily bread ' exigency. He went 
to your house to call on you but found it shut up. 



tCiffbourne Cottage 237 



What jolly long holidays you get ! If ever I should 
get months of leisure and liberty, I wonder if I shall 
have the pluck to set about what I would if I had 
them now — to draw horses and riders from life, to 
make bagpipe reeds, and to find a place where I 
could play the great pipes for six weeks without 
being heard and finally conquer them. I've lots 
more to say, but shall see how you are after this 
enormous dose. Tm reading your friend Dr. Bruce's 
* Wallet-book of the Roman Wall,' but has he not 
written a larger book on the same subject ? A friend 
got it for me from the London Library. Tell me all 
about where you've been and what you've seen, and 
excuse my long neglect (which shan't occur again) 
and its inevitable consequence, this swollen epistle. 

** Yours very sincerely, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

About this time we come upon what may be said, 
I think, to be the only really disagreeable occurrence 
with which it is necessary, in considering Keene's 
life, to deal, and certainly much shall not here be said 
about a matter which at the time produced a consider- 
able amount of ill-feeling. Keene had gone abroad 
with a friend to the south of France. As bad fortune 
would have it, just at the same time '* Tigbourne 
Cottage " — which, it will be remembered, was rented 
by Mr. Foster and sub-let by him to Keene — came 
into the market for sale. A brother artist, with whom 
Keene had for some time shared the cottage, took 
the opportunity of buying it, as Keene considered, 




KKOM THK OIL I'AlXTtXt; HV SIR GKORUE KEltl, T.R.S.A. 
/" /!,.■ /'.r«,;.iWi ofMn. AItx.-in.Ur Macionald. 



iflp HeafaefiJ 239 



behind his back. With or without reason, Keene 
held that his former friend had taken unworthy 
advantage of his absence, and forthwith broke with 
him. He would never go near the place again, and 
developed an almost morbid dislike for the man who, 
he considered, had not acted straightforwardly. It 
was characteristic of him never to trust again where 
he believed he had once been deceived. As upright 
a man as ever stepped himself, in some things he 
may have been somewhat narrow-minded, and he 
found it hard to believe that what failed to conform 
with that which appeared to him to be rectitude of 
conduct could be prompted by just motives. Sub- 
sequently his visits to Witley were as a guest at the 
house of Mr. Birket Foster or Mr. J. M. Stewart. 
. The succeeding year, 1877, he paid the first of 
what proved to be a most enjoyable series of visits 
to his friends, the Macdonalds, of Kepplestone, 
Aberdeen. These were continued until 1884, in the 
December of which year Mr. Macdonald died. Of 
these visits he wrote regretfully, a year before his own 
death, ** I've had no holidays like those since then." 
The following MS. was evidently written up from 
time to time as a sort of journal as he moved from 
place to place. 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 
** Fly Leaves. 

IJuIy 13, 1877.] 

** I had a very jolly trip to South Wales at Easter 
time. I went with a friend, who is brother-in-law 



240 C^arle0 lieene 



and agent to a Welsh squire and landowner down 
there. We started by the night train and got to our 
station just this side of Haverfordwest a little after 
6 a.m. We had a carriage to ourselves, and I 
slept as in a bed. We took a trap at the station 
and drove nine miles to our little pub. (the Green 
Bridge), Pendive, Caermarthen Bay, called so from 
a little stream running into a hole in the limestone 
rock just below the house, and coming out again on 
the sea-shore a mile beyond. This was the most 
luxurious little hostelry I was ever in. The land* 
lord was a little bragging Welshman, and had been 
coachman to the squire for many years and * whip * 
to hounds in his youth, and his wife had been a maid 
in the same family. My friend, who was the most 
frequent * traveller ' putting up there (barring the 
neighbouring farmers who dropped in for a glass), 
had by degrees made it the model inn on the estate. 
The little rooms were papered by Morris and Co. 
( W. Morris, the poet !), and baths in the bedrooms. 
We got here about 7.30 and found a capital break- 
fast, to which, after a wash, we did justice. I think 
the sort of country would have pleased you — a series 
of hills, heaths swarming with rabbits, with gorges 
between, 'dingles' they call them, with streams at 
the bottom running into the sea about a mile off. 
* Plenty of watter here, sir, whatever ! * the little land- 
lord said to me. Any earnest piscator might make 
this a paradise for anglers by stocking the streams, 
and a little care. In the Tawe, close by, the lordly 
salmon disports ; but they seemed to me to take the 



&our|i 92Ialed 241 



trout too small — very nice to eat but too near in 
size to a sardine. I went about with my friend on 
his visits to the farmers, now walking and then 
driving in the bailifiTs trap. The latter was a tall 
Devonshire man, with the dialect strong, though he'd 
been in Wales the best part of his life ! But I took 
to these Welsh Britons very much. There was one 
splendid old fellow, a quarryman and stonemason^ 
who lived in the merest hovel on the beach under 
the rocks, who made the gravestones for that country 
side and composed the verses thereon himself — 
those for children inspired his best lines — and an 
enthusiast on the violoncello ! He told me a long 
story about a fiddle he had that had been left by one 
of the French prisoners (who on landing at Milford 
were taken and lodged for the night in Haverford- 
west church). We drove one day down the coast 
to the * Coggan ' cave that I wanted to see. It was 
on the face of a clifiF, and to me, unused to giddy 
heights and precipices, seemed of rather uneasy 
access. We had to creep in on our bellies, but I felt 
a thrill of pleasure in being for the first time in a 
hyaena's den ! The cave is of great extent laterally, 
for in most of it you can't stand upright, and the 
stalagmite floor is broken through in one or two 
places, and we set to work grubbing. The earth is 
full of bones, and we soon got a basketful. The 
practical Devonshire bailiff suggested to the farmers 
(one or two came in with us) that they should get 
some of this mould and put it on their land, but they 
did not seem to heed him. The country about here 

R 



242 Ctiacle0 Hittnt 



must have been populous in early times — no end 
of * dolmens' and barrows. One of these farmers 
showed us a place on one of his fields where last 
year his ploughmen came upon a long line of inter- 
ments — stone chambers with skeletons enclosed. 
They dug them up and laid the long slabs flat and 
went on with their operations. We saw the surface 
of the field strewn with the fragments of these bones. 
How Canon Greenwell would have objurgated at 
this recital ! You might tell his Reverence, if he 
ever goes so far for change of air. of this little * Green 
Bridge ' hotel. Young Garrod, F.R.S.. Professor of 
Zoology, has my bones, and is going to label them 
for me. He thought at first glance they were bones 
of hyaena, bear, and horse. These hyaenas must 
have been awfully powerful beasts, from the thick- 
ness of the bones they had split. It's interesting to 
see the marks of their teeth as they had gnawed 
them ! On one of our rides we strolled into a country 
churchyard, and, on one of the stones of a flight of 
steps to a raised part, we found some Ogham writing. 
We told the parson, who from the cut of his coat 
and hat looked a little ' high,' and he was quite 
excited with surprise and delight — 'w^ould have it 
taken up to-morrow !' We broke our journey back 
at Gloucester, went to service at the cathedral (not 
such a good quire as Durham) and looked in at the 
curio shop in the city, and *so home.' I regretted I 
did not take my great pipes with me ; I could have 
made good practice at the * Green Bridge.' I've 
promised to take them the next time ; they'd sound 



iplp Heafaetf 243 



well in a dingle! Tm working hard at * Macpher- 
son s Lament,' have taken to it the more since you 
mentioned it. When I spoke of it to Munro, my 
preceptor, he remembered it as a Gaelic song, and 
began wagging his head and humming it ; * it was 
pleasant to see !' 

''May 19///, Witley. 

" I've run down here for a few days to stay with 
Stewart, but I have to work all day, which is rather 
trying with the glint of the spring verdure catching 
my eye through the window, but the hope of getting 
ahead, so as to take a week or two at the end of June 
to go and see Stevenson, if he is in Argyleshire, will 
keep me to it. So you've taken to your old haunts 
by Coquet this year, but I hope you'll fill a sketch- 
book all the same. It was not that I did not appre- 
ciate the quips and cranks in those you lent me that 
I did not crib more profusely from the mine. If you 
don't mind, I should like to cut and come again. 
Many thanks for thinking of me in sending me Dr. 
Bruce's portrait. I shall mount it as frontispiece in 
his book of the Wall. I picked up a whacking great 
folio scrap-book the other day that I shall take great 
pleasure in filling, but it's a weighty tome ! 

'^ June 22nd. 

'* What glorious weather we've had here lately, I 
hope you've been equally lucky, but Stewart tells me 
it's not good for trout-fishing till evening. He said 
he killed about eight or ten the other evening at our 
pond at Witley, from a pound to a pound and a half 
each ! 



244 Cf^acled lleene 



" I often fancy when Tm there how amused you'd 
be, who are used to the rocky rushing streams of 
the North, but the trouts therein are not to be 
despised. I saw Stevenson the other day and w as 
to have met him at dinner at his brother's, but he 
was unwell and did not come, and when I called on 
him the next day he had gone back to Tynemouth. 
I'm in hopes of getting away for my holiday in about 
three weeks. I shall first go to Aberdeen by boat 
and stay a week with a friend there, and from there 
make my way across country to Argyleshire, stay 
with Stevenson a week or so, and then back. I'm 
afraid I shall be in a hurry back, or else I should like 
to break my journey at Newcastle and have a day 
with you and see the Coquet. If 1 can get away and 
have time, I will. Let me know at what time you 
will be in London this autumn, when you bring your 
lad to the university. Have you settled on his 
domicile ? When I mentioned about this to my 
friend Haydon,* he asked me if I thought he was a 
studious lad (Hay don has a son who goes to King's 
College), as he would like to take and board him, and 
the two boys could study together of an evening. 
He lives in a beautiful house in the grounds at 
Bethlehem Hospital, Southwark (but quite detached). 
I fancy he would be very comfortable there, but 
you will judge best. I also have a friend who lives 
in Gower Street, close to University College, an 
artist, Davis Cooper, the son of old Abraham Cooper, 

^ The late Mr. G. H. Haydon, Steward of the Bethlehem 
Hospital, Lambeth Road. 



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SI (Erucstome &tor|? 245 

R.A. I know he has often pupils who live in his 
house, but perhaps while the lad is studying it would 
be better he was apart from art distraction. J. D. 
Watson was a pupil of Davis Cooper, and most 
people in the artistic world know him. But if I can 
help you beforehand in any way in this matter, 
command me, and I mean to be in town when you 
come, 'whatever betide.' My two fishing friends, 
Haydon, the Devonshire man, and Stannus, the 
Irishman, have never met, and they are coming to 
my studio some night next week, and a rare * fishy ' 
evening we shall have, I expect. * When Greek meets 
Greek.' We shall drink your health in some prime 
whisky that was sent me from Aberdeen, Christmas 
1876 ! which is not finished yet. A similar case from 
the same district that came this Christmas, 1877,* I 
have not opened yet ! Chelsea is rather an out-of-the- 
way place, and I have not many evening callers. 
I've just heard an American story. Some one met 
a large party of Americans journeying West across 
the prairies to found a colony, several families, all 
ages, men, women, and children, but amongst them a 
very old man, * ninety odd.' The stranger expostu- 
lated with the pilgrims : * Whatever did you bring him 
for on such a journey, poor old fellow ! on the brink of 
the grave ? What good can he be in a new colony ? ' 
' Waal, yes, he can, stranger/ they replied ; ' guess 
we'll start the cemetery with him ! ! ' 

** Hem : Conundrum invented the other day by a 

* There seems to be some confusion of dates here difficult to 
reconcile, but not of importance. 



246 CtiarUd lieene 



friend, supposed to be asked by one * half seas over/ 
— *Whish of the English Kingsh make the best 
chiropodist ? ' Ans : * WilFam Corn Currer ! ' 

[/ufy i3/>i.] 

*' Hawk well, Essex. 

" Ran down here for a day or two with two other 
artists on a visit to the Rector. A quiet little place 
when they are not practising with the Woolwich 
Infant at Shoeburyness, six miles off, when I think 
the parson has to open his windows for fear they 
should be smashed. Two or three gunners were 
here last night, and whist set in fiercely. Just before 
I started, I had a telegram from Alec Stevenson, and 
I think I shall start for the North next week as soon 
as I can, so I must make an end of this voluminous 
letter. 

" We had the evening with the two anglers. They 
went at it tooth and nail for an hour or so till I pro- 
posed a diversion, and we sat down to * Spoil five.' 
Haydon gave the Irishman his killing minnow, his 
own invention and manufacture (out of a stair-rod I 
think). The former has started for Brittany and the 
latter. I believe, fishes this year in the home circuit. 
Haydon hopes he may meet you when you come to 
town. I think I shall start for the North next 
Thursday or Friday (19th or 20th). Shall make my 
way to ' Alexr. Stevenson, Auchineilan by Lochgilp- 
head, Argyleshire,* shall be there a week or ten days, 
and then 'Alexr. Macdonald, Kepplestone, Aberdeen,* 
for another week, and so home by steamer. If you 
should be coming to town directly drop me a 



(P* % i^apoon 247 



card. When you come, will you bring the packet 
of music ? It will solace me in the empty season in 
London. I had a present of a beautiful little leaf- 
shaped flint from a friend who found it at Relgate, 
I called the other night on an old friend of mine, the 
most ardent * trouter ' I know on this side ' Coquet;' 
G. H. Haydon. You ought to know him. He is a 
great admirer of yours. * The Fisher's Garland ' is 
his most cherished book — I lent him the ' Book of 
Angling.' I'll show you some day his letter and 
criticism on returning it. He's a very good amateur 
artist and collector like you and I. It was a curious 
coincidence, — he showed me a little idol in his cabinet, 
being a presentment of his satanic majesty in an 
attitude of exhortation fashioned out of a horse's 
vertebra ! and the next morning came your little 
present. Haydon, when a youth, went to Australia 
to make his fortune, and first explored the country 
between Gipp's Land and Melbourne before the 
latter * was,' (I saw this mentioned in a * History of 
the Colony ' I was reading), and during this journey 
he lost a little twopenny diary in the bush, and 
thought no more about it (this was in 183 — something, 
I believe). About a year ago somebody sent him 
the little book with a series of memoranda such as — 

' Found by the blacks who gave it to , who died, 

and it came into the possession of So-and-so, etc., etc.,' 
enclosed with two prints from the Australian * Illus- 
trated' of Melbourne in 183 — from a sketch by Mr. 
Haydon (he left lots of sketches in the colony), and 
one of Melbourne in 1876! He has this curious 



*248 Ctarle0 lieene 



relic and its credentials framed in his sanctum. 
He told me he met an old gentleman from the North 
the other day at dinner (his name was Harvey, I 
think), who said he knew you. He told mehe has 
the. finest trout-fishing in England in a two hours' 
railway journey from his chair; I fancy'it's in Hkmp- 
-shire. He had Westwood's little book that yoii gave 
me in his book-case. I enclose for your scrap-bbok a 
Jeucf esprit, hy my friend H. S. Marks, A.R.A., a 
parody on a popular ballad. He sings it wh^n there 
are no R. A/s present. He does not want it to appear 
in print, so don't let any * chiel ' take notes of it. 

** The village post is just going off, so I must break 
off without finishing this sheet. Til make notes in 
my travels. With kindest regards to Mrs. Crawhall 
and your daughters, 

" I am, 

** Yours ever sincerely, 

"Charles S. Keene." 



THE ACADEMY ELECTION, 1877. 

To the tune of "The Two Obadiahs." 

I. 
Said a young Academician to an old Academician, 
** An election, sir, is coming on to-night." 
Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 
" That fact I had forgotten almost quite. 
Yet sorry should I be were I absent from the fray. 
So when Tve wrapped up warmly will be off to the R.A., 
And we'll take a cab together for which I will let you pay." 
Said the young Academician, **I am on ! " 



^^e SlcaHemp (Slntion 249 

m " 

2. 

Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 

" Can you tell me now about the likely men ? " 

Said the young Academician to the old Academician, 

" I should think there must at least be eight or ten. 

There's Fildes, J. Archer, Holl, Riviere, John Brett, and Marcus 

Stone, 
Peter Graham, Morris, Prinsep, all of them well known ; 
Young Ouless, too, for portraiture some aptitude has shown." 
Said the old Academician, ** So he has ! " 

3 {/n the Cab). 

Said the young Academician to the old Academician, 

" Let me whisper in your ear my little plan." 

Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 

After cogitating deeply, " Tm your man ! 

But supposing on the Ballot now they should our man reject, 

May I ask do you imagine, or should rather say expect. 

With a Sculptor they'll come over us or p'rhaps an Architect ? " 

Said the young Academician, ** That be d d ! " 

4 (/« i/ie Council-room). 

Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 

** A very good assemblage here to-night ! " 

Said the young Academician to the old Academician, 

" Let us hope, old man, the voting will go right." 

The papers then were handed round, to every man who came. 

But our ancient friend forgot to sign his highly honoured name ; 

His vote was lost, his paper torn, to his dismay and shame. 

The young Academician spoke of eyes ! ! 

5 (After the Election). 

Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 
** Well, I think upon ihe whole, we may be glad." 
Said the young Academician to the old Academician, 
"Yes, I told you Walter Ouless was the lad. 
For hc*s not the boy to be puffed up by aught that people say, 
But he'll take his honours quietly, and you'll never see the day 
When he will shirk his work because we've made him A.R.A." 
Said the old Academician, ** Dear, dear me ! " 



250 Ctiaclec^ l&eene 



6. 

Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 

** I should like to hear your views on Peter Graham ! " 

Said the young Academician to the old Academician, 

" That he wasn*t in before*s a burning shame ! 

Though I wouldn't hint for worlds the Academy's not right, 

Yet Peter on the Ballot's been ten times before to-night ; 

So I for one shake hands with him, he's made a gallant fight." 

" Said the old Academician, ** So I think." 



Said the old Academician to the young Academician, 

" Now tell me what you think of Marcus Stone ? " 

Said the young Academician to the old Academician, 

"That that's an act of justice all will own. 

For seventeen years, or thereabouts, on the line his work youVc 

shown. 
Perspective, Drawing, both correct, his colour good in tone, 
So let's drink the healths of Ouless, Peter Graham, and Marcus 

Stone." 
Said the old Academician, " We will drink ! " 

8 (Moral). 

There are old Academicians, there are young Academicians, 

There are middle-aged Associates as well ; 

But the old Academicians so much like their warm positions, 

That they never will retire. What a sell ! 

Yet we could mention one or two who've had an innings fair. 

Who now with grace might well vacate the Academic chair. 

Then quickly with Associates their loss we might repair, 

Say the old Academicians, " Not so green ! '' 

I have Mr. Stacy Marks' permission to print 
what, at that time, he preferred should not be made 
public. Time has proved verse 2 to be curiously 
prophetic, every one of the ** likely men,'' excepting 
Archer, therein mentioned, having since been 
gathered into '' the Academic Fold." 



Beppletftone 251 



To Joseph Crawhall^ Esq. 

"A. Macdonald's, 

" Kepplestone, 

" Aberdeen. 

[August 6ih^ 1877-] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I started for the Highlands on the evening of 
last Thursday week, and somehow got to Stevenson's 
shieling by Loch Awe, on the following day. I 
stayed there for ten days and had a very pleasant 
time. I had read in Buchanan's * Land of Lome,' 
that you must look for rain in Argyleshire, and was 
not disappointed. It poured, more or less, the whole 
time. Now and then, during an hour or so's inter- 
mittence, we rushed out with the ladies and had a 
bout at lawn tennis ; otherwise, you could not stir 
out but in waterproofs and sou'westers. I had an 
afternoon with Stevenson on a hill Loch, and tried 
to fish with a fly from a boat, but I was afraid of 
flicking my line into my host's eye, so soon gave up 
and watched him. I must learn the trick by myself 
from a bank, and ware ! bystanders ! This house is 
delightfully placed, overlooking a little loch (Edolin), 
but this is full of pike like Loch Awe. This fish of 
prey was introduced by a former Duke of Breadal- 
bane, and cannot be got rid of All the people 
about his place are Campbells, and it is curious, 
showing the tenacity of clan hatred : Stevenson's 
keeper and head bottle-washer is a Duncan Mac- 
gregor (and a very good fellow), and the people will 



252 C^arlei^ lleerie 



._ ^. » I ■■ -^-™«-' 



hardly speak to him, therefore, and never miss an 

opportunity of maligning him ! 

. .^ .. . 

" I should much have liked to have had a day or 

so with you, but my holiday wanes, and I had put 

off my arranged Aberdeen visit to go to Stevenson's 

first, and did not like to disappoint my friend here 

any longer. 1 had a great difficulty in getting away 

from Auchineilan, as my friends the Fosters were 

staying another week, and I must start home (by 

boat), next Saturday. Let me know when you are 

coming to town. I took my great Pipes to Arg)4e- 

shire (coals to Newcastle), and practised to my 

heart's content, and my friend here who lives in the 

suburbs of Bon Accord, has a large garden, in the 

remote parts of which I strut and skirl. There is a 

sort of Pipers coming there this evening, to play for 

my delectation. I protested, but my host would not 

be denied, and, what's more, they are three of his 

workmen who are out on strike ! Directly I left 

Auchincalan the weather began to mend, and I 

started from Crinan by steamer for Oban and Fort 

William, and had a glorious day, slept at latter place 

and went by coach the next morning to Kingussie, 

by Ben Nevis and Lochaber and Badenoch, and for 

a long way by the river Spean, which looked to me 

a model river for an angler or artist. If you don't 

know it, I would recommend you to see it ! It's open 

fishing I heard ! To-morrow I'm going up the Don 

for a day, may try with rod and fly again. I'm 

bound to go to Suffolk for a week when I get back, 

and then my leave is over, and then the grindstone 



%d\nn %tnnifi 253 



again. With kindest regards to Mrs. Crawhall and 
all yours, 

" I am, yours sincerely, 

'* Charles S. Keene. 

" I am delighted to hear of the music-book/' 

Of lawn tennis, on another occasion, he writes : 
" You should go in for this pastime ; good for liver, 
I should think. It suits me. I like a game that 
stretches the muscles thoroughly, or else one of utter 
physical quiet, such as chess. A dawdling sort of 
game sends me to sleep. Billiards makes me yawn, 
but I forgot, you are a fisherman — that's a * different 
thing.' 



> >» 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea. 

lAug, 18, 1877.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

** I got back from Aberdeen last Monday by 
steamer and found your welcome letter, and the books, 
etc., came safe the next day. I was delighted to see 
your sketches again. Tm not flattering when I say that 
the fun and the strong *01d Masterish' quality in the 
studies and landscapes * fetch ' me entirely. I enjoyed 
a very pleasant three weeks in Scotland, and I had a 
warm welcome from my friends, but the weather 
was passing cold and inclement. I shall be delighted 
if I can come to the Pipe Congress and see you, but 
please don't put me on the dais. I have never sat 
in judgment of any kind in my life, have a horror of 



254 C|iarle0 l&eene 



it ! perhaps morbid. I've had a look at the Bewick 
music ; there does not seem to be much that 
we've not got — the good stuff, I mean. Item — I 
don't think the brass drone reeds are an improve- 
ment on the primitive 'elder' tubes, but a chanter 
reed maker would be a godsend ! 

** If you are writing to Chappell, mention me. I 
met him some time ago and took to him much. 
I fancy he is one of our sort about music. I 
furnished him with that fine tune of Admiral 
Benbow (* Come all you Sailors bold,') that he 
used in his book — look at it if you don't know it — 
it has the fine salt flavour of those in your book 

(*Capt". Bover,' and the * Cutter'). I fancy, if 

he doesn't know them, Chappell will be * fetched ' 
by some of yours. I'm frantically at work with a 
view to have a few days in Suffolk, so I'll finish this 
letter when I get there. The friend I'm going to 
is an invalid, and turns in early, which I can't, 
and so have a good opportunity for letter-writing. 
I suppose you will hail from Rothbury for a week or 
so longer. 

" Yours ever, 

''Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

" Dunwich, Suffolk, 

* ' M onday , 2 7 August [1877]. 

•'' Dear Crawhall, 

" My host has just turned in, but I'm wide 
awake (this sea air of my native country makes me 



^ift 9^M\t 255 



snoozy sometimes in the day, and I had forty winks 
on the shingle this afternoon), so Til just jot down 
an idea or two. I suppose the lists won't be closed 
before I get to town, as I should like to send you a 
guinea towards the Pipe prizes — on condition I'm 
not made a judge. I suppose the competition won't 
be in Christmas week, when I'm generally down in 
Surrey, and I should like to come very much if I 
can. Did you see an advertisement or review of a 
book of North Co. (Banff) tunes in the * Academy ' 
or * Athenaeum/ published in Edinburgh ? I shall 
try and get a look at it when I get back. There 
is a book of Pipe-music I wanted to get, published 
by Gunn, of Glasgow, a Highland pipe-maker. I 
asked at a little music-shop at Aberdeen (the man 
repairs pipes, etc.), and he told me it was out of 
print, that Gunn was dead and his executors wanted 
money for the copyright, which was not forthcoming, 
and the book was scarce, etc., etc. So I gave up 
hopes ; but I happened to mention this to my friend 
and host, Macdonald, and he pulled up at the swell 
bookseller's in Aberdeen and insisted on calling the 
proprietor out (we were in his trap), in spite of my 
protest that it was useless to inquire if he had the 
collection. He said he *did not know of it, but would 
inquire.' Macdonald writes to me that he has got it, 
and is sending it on ! If it is the book I wanted 
(I'm not so sure) I shall be ashamed of my inactivity. 
I hope you will get acquainted with Chappell. Why 
not ask him to be one of the judges in the Pipe 
contest? If I were you I should insist that the 



256 C|)arle0 l&eene 



compositions to be played for the prize should be 
native tunes, not pieces out of modern operas that 
they are rather fond of showing off in. I think you 
are right in not wishing your boy to be diverted in 
the Art direction yet. I think I told you I went by 
coach from Fort William to Kingussie, through 
Lochaber and Badenoch, — that must be somewhere 
near your quarters. Have you fished in the river 
Spean ? It looked to me a most * likely ' stream and 
a picturesque. I remember wondering as I passed 
by it if your Coquet was anything like it. I flicked 
a fishing line about one day with Stevenson on a 
loch, but was afraid of hooking him, so I gave it up 
till Vd had a little practice by myself from a bank. 
When I was at Aberdeen I went for a day to stay 
with his partner up the Don. The fish were not on 
in this river, but I caught two trouts in a loch — * tell 
it not in Gath !* — with a worm ! That's not the right 
sort of thing, is it ? This Dunwich is a curious little 
place, but interesting. All along at the base of the 
sandy cliff (striped with layers of rolled pebbles) you 
come upon human bones that have dropped from the 
shallow alluvial soil at the top. The land is sinking 
all along this coast, and a great city that flourished 
in Saxon times and was decaying at the Norman 
Conquest lies miles under the sea. There is one 
ruined church left just at the edge of the cliff. I 
believe ' the oldest inhabitant ' can just remember 
when it was used for service, but its only congrega- 
tion now is the owls and bats ! Some of the cliff 
has fallen away lately and disclosed the shaft of a 



Wit ^fpe Content 257 



well. The bricks look to me Roman, but nothing 
has been found. There is a good lot of it, and it 
looks likely to fall, so one gives it a wide berth. 
The green marshei at the back of the place are 
dotted with the fine cows and sorrel horses that 
thi# County is famous for. ' Cows and churches ' is 
th^ motto at the head of ' Suffolk * in old Fuller s 
' Worthies.' My big pipes are * going ' well just now 
from the practice I've had in my holiday, and so 
secluded is this place that at any time two or three 
hundred yards down the beach I can strut on the 
hard sartd and skirl away at * Fingal's Lament ' or 
* The Massacre of Glencoe ' (my favourite pibroch), 
out of earshot of a soul. I shall find the book, I 
daresay, when I get back, and will write again. With 
kindest regards to you and yours, 

** Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 
The Pipe contest mentioned in the above letter 
was promoted in Newcastle, to keep alive a taste for 
the Northumbrian small pipes, by Dr. Bruce (author 
of the " History of the Roman Wall," father of Mr. 
Gainsford Bruce, Q.C.), Mr. Crawhall, and a few 
others. Prizes were offered to the best players. 
Keene took great interest in it, went to Newcastle 
on purpose for it, and was asked to act as judge, but 
from diffidence declined. 

To Alexander Macdo7iald, Esq. 

" Witley, Surrey, 6 Oct ^77. 

'*Dear Macdonald, 

" Many thanks for the book of tunes, which I 

s 



\ 



258 Ci^arles lieene 



shall value the more from the way I have got it, 
which illustrates the contrast between your stirring* 
enterprise and my unreadiness. I had been told the 
book was out of print and not to be had, and gave 
up the game. You insisted on making inquiry at 
what I thought the unlikeh'est place, and here it 
turned up ! 

" I want to get a tune mentioned in * Old Mor- 
tality ' or * Heart of Midlothian.' I think there's a 
piper who speaks of * Torphichen s Rant ' as the best 
tune that ever chanter breathed. I want to get it! 
That was a capital story you sent me of the Indian 
Major, who was surprised at ' that thing going on 
still * ; but I must wait till Parliament meets. 

"We have a short spell of real summer weather, 
and I blow away on the pipes in the gloaming round 
my friend's garden, but it is not in such comfortable 
solitude as on the sea-shore in Suffolk, for when I 
leave off I hear a murmur from a lot of Surrey 
* joskins' from the other side of the hedge. ... At 
Dunwich there was an old literate who had the only 
lodging in the place, a great friend of Tennyson's 
and of poor Thackeray's, and quite a character — an 
Irishman, an author and bookworm, and who re- 
members Kean and the Kembles and Liston. and 
full of talk about old times and *dead and gone' 
people. We met every evening and talked del/es 
lettres, * Shakespeare and the musical glasses,' till 
midnight. . . . 

** I don't think I dare use that last joke you sent 
me. I had one of the same sort of a Scotch visitor 



Ccato^airg &betcge0 259 

going over Waterloo Bridge, * Na, na ' (said the Scot, 
paying the two halfpennies), * yeVe been stannin* 
treat a* the day, it's ma turn noo ! ' 

** Yrs. very sincerely, 

** Charles S. Keene.*' 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

II, Queen's Road West, 
Chelsea. 

{November ^th^ 1877.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I just snatch half-an-hour from work to jot 
you a line. In the first place to thank you for the 
sketches which I shall prize very much. I could 
* go on * at length on this subject, but we will talk 
when we meet. I agree with you, and it is not 
otherwise than a compliment, that the original land- 
scapes in the little books (done from nature, I imagine, 
or more so than less) are difficult to do over again in 
the studio. Some of these little gems are mine ! 
that is, that, though they are in your mere possession, 
they belong to me. Some of my most valued works 
of art I don't keep myself; some are in Trafalgar 
Square and Hampton Court, and all sorts of places. 
Don't give them away! You should have them 
framed in sets with a trout in the centre. You will 
see what a boon the jokes have been to me. There 
is one I like, of a bumptious Paisley man, but you 
have not indicated a Paisley brogue in the * legend.' 
Wouldn't he have a twang } 



26o Ci)arle0 lieene 



" I send you a P.O. order for a guinea to the Pipe 
fund. You must humour me in this, if I am not too 
late, and I want half-a-dozen copies of the ' Border 
Tunes.' 

** As the year is on the wane, perhaps it would be 
as well to wait and join the Anti- Restoration Society 
in January next, but that's as you like. Ver6. sap. 

** Did I send you a copy of my friend Sands * Out 
of the World or Life at St. Kilda' ? IVe just got 
some copies of a new edition and, if you have not got 
it, should like to send you one. 

" I suppose this balmy weather foreshadows an 
Arctic Christmas. 

" With kindest regards, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

Keene did subsequently join the "Anti- Restoration 
Society." 

" You show a good front," he writes to Mr. Craw- 
hall on November 30, 1878, " in the papers you sent 
me about the Leaguer of the old Tower. Oh ! that 
it should have withstood the Scots in days of yore, 
and old Time since, and be levelled at last by a lot of 
Radical pedlars and money-grubbers, most likely not 
descendants of those it defended in the old time. 
Make ballads of 'em and set them to * filthy tunes.* ^ 
There is one man, by the bye, who writes about restor- 
ing it to its Edwardian, etc. We have to guard 
against these quack-salvers as well." 

^ Vide Shakespeare, i Henry IV., ii. 2. 



f 




PRELIMINARY STUDY FOR "A FIRESIDK REVERIE," q.V. 



262 C^arlefif litene 



To J. M. Stewart y Esq, 

" II, Queen's Road West, 
** Chelsea. 

[1877.] 

*' Dear Jack, 

" I was very sorry I was out that day you called. 
I went to Puttick's to try and get a book of old wood- 
cuts, but it went above my figure. I fancied I saw 
you in the distance from the top of a * 'bus.' I sat 
next to Britton Riviere at the Lord Mayor's dinner. 
I did not know who my neighbour was, but he intro- 
duced himself to me, and I took to him very much. 
Next to him sat young Richmond. On my other 
side was a citizen. I dined with Macdonald from 
Aberdeen on the Friday, met Millais, Faed, Pettie, 
and some other North Britons. On Monday I went 
to lunch at Millais' and admired his eldest daughter 
(the original of the girl with the eggs, only prettier) 
and his pictures. He is painting three companion 
pictures for the next Academy. The old Beefeater 
is finished nearly, — splendidly painted. I believe 
Ingram has bought them, and is going to have them 
colour-printed for the * News ' at Christmas, and he 
had several other portraits. He was very jolly. 
Last Thursday I dined with Wells, same party, with 
Calderon, Tadema, Hodgson, and Armstead. Boyce 
was not there. On Monday I'm going to dine at J. 
Stevenson's, and am pretty nearly sick of it ! Have 
you heard how Mrs. F. likes Margate ? Many thanks 
for the stick. It has been much admired. A. Cooper 
is going to pot luck with me at the * Arts ' to-day, 



Coatfit of Sltmsi 263 



and I shall call at Edwards' to hear how he is. He 
went off to Whitby and wants me to join him, but I 
don't fancy the place. Tm going with Cooper to see 
Miss Thompson's picture and Hunt's to-day." 

To Joseph Crawhally Esq. 

" II, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea, 

IMarch 28M, 1878.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" What a dilatory rogue of a correspondent you 
must think me, or I ought to say I am ! — but I've had 
an instinct that you've been very busy with the Art 
scheme, and I've a bad habit in the lull after work 
when I ought to be writing of reaching down my 
guitar and having a twang or a blow on the practice- 
stick, but now I must seriously demonstrate to you 
that it is not the same case with you and I as 
with your friend Westwood. We've not written 
ourselves out! I feel a qualm and mutter a 
' forfend ' when I think of that ! I shall pack up 
that parcel to-morrow. I hope you won't be bored 
by my sending it. It came across my mind as I 
know you are rather surfeited with books, but they 
are exceptional and are so suggestive in the pot line. 
Enclosed you will find the two coats, mine {i.e.y the 
Sparrows') and M.'s, both drawn by him. If ever you 
do them on a plate you'll have to expand the * Mant- 
ling.' And you are nearer your moving, which is 
another reason against sending them, but you can 
keep them together, and the angling season is coming 
on (another), but I'm not in a hurry for them. I 



264 C^arled lleene 



should like to give you the Purcell if you will have 
It. While I think of it, might I ask you to send 
an * invitory ' (!) circular to * A. Cooper, 7, Belmont 
Villas, Twickenham.' — (a son of old Abraham Cooper, 
R.A.,and an old friend of mine and Birket Foster's), 
and another to * Wilfred Lawson, 11, Oueens Road 
West, Chelsea/ He has the studio over me, has a 
picture nobly hung at Edinburgh now, — a very clever 
fellow and no relation to the arch teetotaller. I am 
much obliged to you for sending one to my friend 
Stannus, the Irish angler. Won't this Exhibition in 
August interrupt your summer holiday? I'm afraid 
I shall not be able to respond to the invitation to 
send something. A couple of frames of my * Punch * 
sketches have gone to Paris, sent by a friend of 
mine, and I'll back them to be the cheekiest speci- 
mens of art in the whole International. I could not 
have had the face to send them myself. Alec. 
Stevenson is making a longish stay here. . . . He 
has bought a picture and a suit of Japanese armour! 
He was telling me he thought you were going 
to part with some of your books. That makes me 
shudder. Have you any sixteenth or seventeenth 
century Herbals ? I've picked a good many at times 
and so has my friend Boyce. We had a herbal 
evening the other night at his house, he and I, and a 
day or two afterwards I came across five folios of 
'em at a sale, made a bid and got 'em, including a 
Petrarch (woodcuts) and a whacking Boyer s French 
Dictionary for /^4 ; so I've formally made known 
to Boyce that I give in, and leave the field open to 



jFftjffecalli 265 



him for the future ! I wonder if I shall be able to 
resist the temptation again. Big and little, IVe got 
fifteen vols, of 'em ! 

** I send you a Biography in little of poor Charles 
Lamb to stick in any Life or Works of his you may 
have. He was always a favourite of mine. The now- 
aday critics pooh pooh him. They be d d ! It 

was made by an old Literate and scholar, a friend of 
mine. He was at college with Tennyson and 
Thackeray, and is quite one of our kidney. I wish 
you knew him, so much so I can't help sending you 
his letter about the pamphlet. I hope this won't bore 
you ! He lives at Woodbridge in Suffolk, and I hear 
has just bought some land on the skirts of the little 
town, to save a windmill thereon, that otherwise 
would have been pulled down. Doesn't that show 
him to be one of the right sort ? I shall not expect 
an answer to this for a longtime, as I know you must 
be very busy, but when you next write don't forget 
the account of the Bewick lithograph, as I want to 
paste it on the back of the frame. I mean to crow 
over Boyce with this Bewick. He is a great admirer 
of the artist, and has a lot of proofs and a block or 
two given him — I think by Barnes of Durham. I got 
a good pocketful of scrapers from Canon Greenwell's 
collection in the keeping of his friend Lord Rosehill. 
I am writing the Canon a letter — (slow but sure). 
Lord R . has a fine collection, was a jolly sort of fellow, 
and gave me one or two specimens of his abundance. 
Much obliged for the last song you sent me. There 
are several melodies that I should like to suggest to 



266 Charted %eeue 



you, but just at this minute can t recall them, — will jot 
them down to-morrow. 

" Friday y 29/^. — I refreshed my memory with a look 
at Chappell last night, and also Rimbault's ' Music to 
the Percy Relics.' You ought to have the latter if 
you haven't it. There's a song in it, I don't know 
whether it's in Chappell, * How now, Shepherd: 
what means that — why wear'st thou Willow in thy 
Hat ? ' that you would like, I think, and several 
others. You ought to do a * Sir Toby Belch * mug 
with one of his catches on it, with diamond-headed 
notes, would look pretty. * Hold thy peace, thou 
knave,' for instance, — I have a copy of it, three lines 
of two bars. There's a tune in Chappell I would 
recommend to you, * Light o' Love.' Sing it to the 
tune of * Light o' Love,* Shakes*. It has not an 
antient character and is so flowing and modern; 
Mozart might have composed it, and it suggests a 
love song. Try it on the whistle. 

'' Salter day, — I'm sweating hard at the * Reel of 
Tulloch,' and shall not die content if I can't play a 
reel for Young'uns to dance to. I shall call on 
Stevenson to-day and hear how the mistress is. 
Saturday's an off-day with me when I have certain 
duties, — a letter to poor Stewart and correspondence 
generally and a couple of hours in the afternoon play- 
ing Tric-trac with the hermit Montagu, and in the 
evening hallooing of anthems, etc., in the Man Song 
Society I belong to, and 'so home,' and I've got to 
go to a lawyer's to-day on business, confound 'em ! — 
so must finish this yarn. Send me back old F'itz- 



^t)e «ieot0" 267 



gerald's letter, and with kind regards to Mrs. Crawhall 
and your daughters, 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

The " Pots," to which allusion is so often made in 
the letters, were decorated with grotesque ** notions," 
or, as Mr. Crawhall himself expresses it, **with all 
kinds of imaginative fooleries as they occurred to 
him," which much delighted Keene. At times, too, 
as will be gathered from the above letter, he would 
paint heraldic designs upon these mugs for his friends. 
The friend M. therein mentioned, himself perhaps the 
finest of heraldic draughtsmen living, had seen some 
of Mr. Crawhall's books and much admired them, 
and, in return for copies presented to him, had sent 
a packet of superbly emblazoned designs. These, 
Mr. Crawhall considered, left him his debtor, and, 
being desirous of showing some further civility, he 
asked Keene to procure M.'s arms with which he 
proposed to decorate one of these mugs. Keene sent 
a coat of arms, which were carefully copied, inscribed 
to M., and forthwith conveyed to him by Keene. 
The further particulars of a most unfortunate mistake 
are best given in Keene's own words. 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
** Chelsea. 

\_May 2^t/i, 1878.] 

''Dear Crawhall, 

** I've been afraid to write to you the last few 



268 Ctiarle0 %eene 



days ! Tve made such an awful mistake — not to 
keep you in suspense, those were not M.'s arms ! 
How shall I excuse myself? Poor M. was so cut 
up as he thought you would be so vexed. I told 
him I would write to you, and try and make it 
all right. I was to thank you heartily for so kindly 
thinking of him, and for the trouble you had taken, 
and, in a measure vainly, through my fault. I am 
a most unlucky fellow, or, as my enemies would 
say, thoughtless. If there's a road to be missed — a 
pot to be broken — a letter to be put in a wrong 
envelope — (when I was a boy), a candle to be snuffed 
out, etc., etc., 'homo sum!' Old M. gave me such 
a look as he said, * You knew my arms ! ' I couldn't 
say a word ! I did know them when I thought, but 
I had had that sketch by me, and admired it, so that 
I came to forget that it was the * Wingfield ' coat 
We decided that we ought to tell you of the matter. 
The poor old fellow was so concerned for you. 
I asked him for an impression of his seal, or a 
sketch of his arms, but I found he fenced the 
request, and I saw (knowing him so well) that 
he did not mean to give it me — (you can guess 
why). He is an extraordinary, retiring, considerate 
sort of man, and morbidly averse to giving anybody 
trouble! — but I'll get a sketch from his brother, the 
parson. So I've made a clean breast of it, and am 
really very sorry. The only approach to levity that 
I dare hint on the subject, is the thought of the 
raging contests that will take place in future ages 
among the Antiquaries and Heralds about that 



2&ook0 269 

unique * drinking vessel ' ! and Tm rather afraid that 
I've committed this stupidity at a bad time, as Tve 
often thought that I, like you, had been baulked 
of my spring and summer holiday on the banks of 
rivers — by whose falls, melodious birds, etc., my 
temper would not be improved ; but, getting very 
little holiday myself, perhaps I exaggerate this. I 
hope you'll have a brimminq^ collection for your 
Exhibition. I hear there's very little business doing at 
the R. A., so perhaps there'll be a better chance at 
Newcastle. Don't send back the Jap. books unless 
they are actually in the way, as I am not wanting 
them, and I please myself with the idea that you 
may appreciate them. The only reason why I should 
like to go to Paris, is to see the Jap. collection, but I 
don't think I shall go. In my short holiday I must 
make the most of my time in the country air. Have 
you found a house yet ? Don't part with your books, 
etc., till you've found one — you may have room for 
all. That is a thought that worries me rather, the 
fear that when my working days are over, I may not 
have wall space for all my frames and books. A 
friend of mine has a lot of outstanding bookcases in 
his rooms, about four feet high and two broad, and 
so houses a good many, and still has wall space for 
his pictures, etc. I'm on the look-out for the third 
vol. of * Dibden's Typographical Antiquities.' I 
have Vols. I., II., and IV. Will you mention it to 
any Newcastle bookseller that you know ? I also 
want Vol. I., of the latest edition of * Pepys' Diary ' 
(Bickers and Son, London). This first vol. is out 



270 €1iavltis %eene 



of print. I have the subsequent ones. I shall be 
very glad to take advantage of your kind offer of 
some more sketch-books. Tm sending you two that 
I have, from which Tve extracted the honey. Tm 
very busy just now making efforts to get ahead, with 
a view to prospective holidays. My friend Mac- 
donald, of Aberdeen, with whom I stayed last year, 
has been in London Although a helpless cripple, 
paralysed in his legs, he came all the way on purpose 
to go to the Academy dinner ! and I hear enjoyed 
his visit very much. He told me a friend offered 
him ;^i,ooo for his card ! There ought to be some 
rich fellows in Aberdeen ! He is a very good fellow, 
but too much of a Russian for me just now. I please 
myself with the idea that you are on the British side 
in the great burning question. Never mind, but if 
you are — N.B., although one of the * Punch ' staff, 
so am I ! Tm sorry to say * Punch' is * Musco' to 
a man except C. K., so he keeps away from that 
* liberal' lot at the present conjunction. I must 
tell you that M. said he would write to you, but I 
knew the old fellow would be bothered under the 
circumstances, so I told him I would write to you 
all about it. He was very urgent that I should 
make you understand he appreciated your present. 
He admired the pot very much. Your strong 
colour (the mediaeval key), just pleases him. I hope 
Mrs. Crawhall and all yours are well. I suppose 
you'll perch them at some rural spot and * chivy' 
backwards and forwards to Newcastle. Let me 
know if I can do anything to help the scheme. I'm 



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!l?f(S tEorpifijm 271 



always touting thereanent. More anon. Til send 
you my * Sparrow * coat. 

" Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

How Keene's fears about his own books were 
realized, will be seen from a letter written about a 
year before his death, and quoted further on in its 
chronological order. A book reader as well as a 
book collector, he writes : *'With a book Tm like a 
child with a sweetmeat ; like to save it for a bonne 
botiche ; now and then, perhaps, dipping into a page 
or two, taking a lick of it, as it were, and again 
putting it by for a more plenary enjoyment." 

Indication is given in the foregoing letter of 
Keene's want of sympathy with the Radical element 
on the ' Punch ' staff. Writing some years later, on 
the occasion of Mr. Anstey Guthrie s first taking 
his seat at "The Table," he says: ** I hope he's a 
Tory. We want some leaven to the set of sorry 
Rads. that lead poor old ' Punch * astray at present." 
Keene's unassailable Toryism was another phase 
of his love of all that was mellowed by antiquity. 
" Hear, hear," he cried one day with enthusiasm at 
a dinner-party, to the opinion expressed that " the 
English people were happier, and in better circum- 
stances, 200 years ago, than they are now " ! Of the 
Paris Exhibition, he wrote : ** A fellow was here 
this morning in hot haste to get some drawings 
from me. I choked him off pretty quick — and to 
commemorate that beastly French Revolution and 



2/2 Ctiarle0 %eene 



its heroes, the Robespierres, Heberts, and Dan tons, 
and that bloodthirsty crew." Again in 1887 he wrote: 
'* I daresay you've noticed how all the snarling Rads. 
make a great fuss about the Jubilee — *a bore/ etc. 
We know what they mean, and what humbug it is. 
The first and only way it has troubled me is, that 
on the occasion of the annual dinner of our Madrigal 
Society next week, some amateur has rearranged 
and tortured the setting of * God save the Queen,' 
involving painful rehearsals, and spoiling the old 
chant. A plague on improvers, I say." He was 
inclined to fear, with Lowell's foreigner, that there 
was nothing so elastic in Nature that it could escape 
being flattened by the heavy roller of democracy. 

In 1883 ^^ became a member, upon its foundation, 
of the Constitutional Club. 

A pet scheme in Keene's head for twenty years 
was a modern carrying out of those series of 
^* characteristics " that the wits of the seventeenth 
century were so fond of. '* My idea was," he writes, 
^*an imitation — I won't say parody — of Fuller's in 
his ' Holy and Profane State.' I should think you 
know the book. It is a favourite of mine. ... I 
can fancy a very pretty little adaptation of some of 
his subjects from the * Holy State/ * The Good 
Merchant.* * The Artist,' * The Constant Virgin,' 
* The Good Herald,' * The Wise Statesman,' etc., 
and from * The Profane,' ' The Witch/ * The Harlot,' 
' The Degenerous Gentleman/ etc., etc. Of course 
the writing is a difficulty. It ought to be in the 
good old English of the seventeenth century, and 



"^00 muci for att (Kimertafeer" 275 

as much of old Fuller s wit as possible applied to 
modern characters, and (eiitre nous) it ought to be 
writ by one of our side, a good Tory and a gentle." 



To Joseph Crawlially Esq. 

" 1 1, Queen^s Road West, 
** Chelsea. 

\_Aug 20, 1878.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

** Did I thank you for the book of sketches in 
my hasty line this week ? I will again. They are 
a * godsend' just now, as Tve been rather *down in 
the mouth' since my holiday. It was too short, and 
my friend that I went to stay with in Suffolk was 
taken seriously ill, so that the state of things was 
not conducive to humour and jollity, and when I 
got back everj^body was going away and made me 
envious. I had a good blow on the pipes, though, 
every day at Dunwich, which was a great solace. 
I've kept 'em going, too, by a daily skirl here since 
I've been back, and I can recommend the second and 
third variations in the grand pibroch * Mackintosh's 
Lament,' to be played very * Largo,' whenever you 
have a fit of the blues ! Some of the new subjects 
in your books are splitting, e.g,, the pitman who was 
knocked down by the locomotive and the squire who 
was going to entertain some parsons and his butler. 
I've done that one, *Too much for an Undertaker,' 
but I've made the customer a 'cheerful stranger' to 
be a little less grim. Poor Shirley Brooks, I can 
fancy him turning in his grave ! He had such a 

T 



274 C]^arle0 Ikeene 



horror of any suggestion about death ! The present 
editor is more stoical ! I can sympathize with your 
disappointment in being just a 'day after the fair' 
in regard to the spear-heads. I should like to have 
seen you when you first showed them to Canon 
Green well ! I've not picked up anything lately. I 
think I told you that (thanks to you for sending 
me a catalogue) I got a few flints from Ireland at 
Sotheby's. I've not got over that pleasure yet, and 
carry some of the specimens in my pocket to gloat 
over * whiles ' ! I got a prize the other day, a book 
I'd been looking for a long time, * St. Simon's 
Memoires,' a French edition, the best, I believe, 
unabridged — 13 vols, for 12 shillings! If ever 
you hear of a copy of 'Wesley's Journal, in Eng- 
land and America, from 1755 to 1790* (there have 
been several editions, most of them in four or five 
vols. ; there are some in one vol., but, I fancy, they 
must be abridgments, which I abhor) — my friend 
Fitzgerald, the old Suffolk scholar, recommends me 
the book — says it's delightful, apart from the fana- 
tical portion. Tm reading my old friend Pepys 
just now in the new enlarged transcript, of which I 
have all the vols, except the first, which is out of 
print, and which Tm eagerly hunting after. Stewart 
writes me : ' How would this do for a subject ? — 
Country cricket match ; an uninvited bull-terrier, 
who has been trained, seizes the ball ; two fielders 
doubt the propriety of taking it from him, while the 
batsmen are getting runs like mad !' You might like 
this for your scrap-book, and your animal painter 



il^etDcaistU (tx^ibition 275 

could do the dog. I shall try it, I think. London 
is awful just now. I was making calls in town 
yesterday, and thought Td dine at the club. Found 
it shut for a fortnight! Met another member of 
the club who was in the same predicament, and we 
adjourned to a ca/if; unfortunately my friend was 
one who * dines,' so our meal cost us nearly ten bob 
a-piece ! My friend the Irish trout-fisher, Stannus 
(he has sent some pictures to your Exhibition), has 
just gone on his last bachelor fishing trip to Ayrshire, 
where his Scotch friends tell him they will give him 
lots of fresh air, fishing, shooting, and whisky (!) to pre- 
pare him for his impending change. He's going to be 
married directly he comes back. My friend Wilfrid 
Lawson, who lives over me, and with whom you are 
in correspondence, has been ' at me ' about sending 
some of my * Punch ' sketches — the only things I 
have by me — to your show, and I've been obliged to 
give in ; but surely they are too rough and inap- 
plicable for such a purpose, so don't hesitate to keep 
them out if any of your co-committee think so, or put 
them in some retired corner, as they are so evidently 
not executed for exhibition. Lawson talks of going 
up to Newcastle at the opening. If you come across 
him, he is a very good fellow indeed. ... I should 
have finished and sent this letter on Saturday, but 
my old friend Bigger called and sat talking all the 
afternoon. I think I've described him to you before. 
He's an old Scot, devoted to music, especially * pipe,' 
Scotch, Northumberland, and Irish — an interesting 
old * body.' I think his father is mentioned among 



276 C^arle0 Ikeene 

the Edinburgh * characters ' in the early editions of 
Chambers' * Traditions of Edinburgh/ (J. B.), who 
used to go about with a fiddle in his pocket. * *Tis 
now the witching hour'; Til finish this to-morrow. 

*' Tuesday. — I should like to see the Exhibition, 
but I shall have to be in the way here all September, 
as Jack Tenniel is going to Venice, and it's his first 
real holiday since he has been on * Punch.' I like 
your idea of the new opera. Your friend is the 
musician ? Get him to use the air * My Love has 
newly Listed.' I've not seen anything of Chappell. 
I fancy he is rather a hermit, though he had a 
garden party, I heard, in the summer at his house at 
* Twittenham ' (as Pepys spells it), with fireworks 
for diversion ! I don't care for fireworks. I should 
have thought music would have been better, but I 
did not hear of any. I hope we shall get him to 
hear the pipes this year. I think 'Clem of the 
Cleugh' would fetch him. His beautiful tone and 
playing is in my ear yet. I left a bid at Puttick's 
this week for a lot of little music-books of country 
dances and minuets since the year 1 780 and onwards, 
but, not being there myself, it went for a few shillings 
more. There might have been something in it, but 
it was a * speculative ' lot. I've felt for you all this 
summer. How you must have longed for Monely 
Shillmore ' ; but the trouts will suffer for it next year, 
I ween. But I suppose you'll go away after the 
opening of the Exhibition. You may have a spell of 
Indian summer. I suppose you saw Stevenson on 
his way to the North. I did not see him before he 



SDuntDicf) 277 



went. rU send the books back when I've culled a 
few more jokes. 

" I send you a few scraps for your book, if you 
will flatter me by accepting them. 

**With kind regards to Mrs. Crawhall and the 
maidens and young men, 

'' I am, 

** Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

To Alexander Macdonaldy Esq. 

" Chelsea. 

[16M August, 1878.] 

** Dear Macdonald, 

" I intended, and I think I promised to write to 
you when I was in the country. I went down to stay 
with an old friend, who has a cottage on the coast of 
Suffolk. I found him very ill, and I had to look after 
him, and it took all my time, and I was not in spirits 
for writing. My only solace was skirling away for 
an hour on the lonely beach, and I generally chose 
the most melancholy pibroch I could think of I 
found directly I came back that I should have to give 
up any idea of more holiday this year. Tenniel is 
going away to Venice and he has never had a holiday 
since he has been on * Punch,' so I have to be in the 
way. Tell the Dean of Guild I often gloat over that 
arrow-head he gave me. I picked up some flints 
found in Ireland the other day at a sale. It's a 
fascinating *fad' and I foresee I shall be a regular 
* Monkbarns,' if I live to be old (or older I should 



278 Cl^drlesf Ikeene 



say!) Many thanks for the batch of good stories 
you sent me. That's a very good one of the two 
footmen. You'll see most of them in * Punch ' here- 
after. 

" Tve been wheedled into sending a frame of my 
rough * Punch ' sketches to the Newcasde Arts Asso- 
ciation. My friend Crawhall is one of the secretaries. 
He wanted me to go up to the opening, but I can't 
get away now. I may run up to the Pipe Competition 
that takes place about December. 

** I was at a committee last night of the ' Anti- 
Restoration Society,' and heard there was a scheme 
for restoring the grand old cathedral of Old Aber- 
deen. I hope you'll help us by not giving anything 
for such vandalism. Half the beauty of these old 
buildings is their lineaments of age, and the curves 
and wrinkles time and history have given them. 
Who would dress his grandmother in long clothes, 
bib and tucker, and shave off her venerable locks to 
make her look like a baby ? 

" Kindest regards to Mrs. Macdonald. Adieu. 

" Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

In October of this year John Tenniel went to 
Venice with Mr. Silver, and Keene for the last time 
undertook the cartoons. The first, on October the 
5th, called '' The Shadow on the Hills," is a very 
splendid picture. The other three, '* Indian Curry," 
on October 12th, ** The Edison Light," on October 
26th, and **At the Head of the Profession," on 




.^^■■ni.'!. 



[.ii'Ji:!t;.^' . a.-loi^j 




Cartoons 279 



November 2, appear to be somewhat perfunctory 
work. Indeed Keene's hatred of anything in the 
way of personalities unfitted him for the r61e of 
political cartoonist^ 

To Joseph Crawhally Esq. 

•'* 1 1 Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea. 

[Sept, 28, 1878.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I was so happy to receive the good news Miss 
Crawhall sent me that you were not dangerously hurt 
by that cruel accident,* and were recovering. The 
description in the newspaper read so terribly. The 
misfortune seemed so hard after the sacrifices you 
had made of your leisure and holidays and the trouble 
you had taken, that, since I heard you were all right, 
I have not liked to think of it or write about it, and 
I vote we forget it for a time till we can talk of it 
carelessly. What an escape ! 

" Tve been staying with Birket Foster, and have 
enjoyed my last short holiday very much there. The 
only drawback was the absence of his two charming 
daughters. I was glad to hear from Miss Fosters 
letter to him that you had been out. Did she not see 
you at the Exhibition ? I hope to hear soon that you 
are getting fresh air and the last smiles of summer in 

* He had done a few in 1875 and 1876, and one in 1877 on 
October 27. Vide Mr. Harper's " Pen Artists of To-day." 

* The accident referred to was a gas explosion in the Exhibition 
rooms prior to their opening, by which Mr. Crawhall was seriously 
injured. 



28o Charles lieene 



the country, and perhaps killing a few trout, though 
Tm ashamed to say I don't know whether the season 
is over or no. Don't forget to jot down some more 
landscapes in your books; those you gave me Tm 
going to have set in a long oak frame with * Northum- 
bria ' carved in old English letters at the base. Wit- 
ley is rather in the dumps at losing one of its belles, 
won by a Newcastle swain. Quite a county calam- 
ity ! I shouldered my pipes and discoursed my most 
melancholy * Lament * on hearing the news ! Send 
me the Newcastle 'Exhibition Notes* (illustrated), 
and I'll remit you the stamps. You will receive from 
an old friend of mine a list of * Reprints ' that he has 
been bringing out for many years — I have asked him 



to send it to you — you ought to have some of them. 
Edward Arber has been in the Civil Service since he 
began life (Admiralty, I think), but all this time his 
hobby has been * letters,' at which he has worked hard 
in his leisure. He tells me in a letter just received 
that a month since he retired from the service, and is 
going to work hard at his labour of love. He says : 
At 41 I have produced and sold 100,000 E^iglish 
reprints, and accomplished the Transcript, which is 
now paid for — all this in a few months over ten 
years' actual working, with very little time and very 
many worries, distractions, and hindrances.' So I 
think you will agree that he is a deserving worker. 
He says in his letter : ' I find it difficult to get at the 
people who want my books. A list of likely persons 
with their addresses would be a great help if you can 
send me one, which I would treat as confidential.' I 



CoUecting 281 



was reminded to ask him to send you one, as in his 
last book, which I have just got, there is a reprint, 
amongst other good things, of a rare tract (two copies 
only known), 'The Secrets of Angling — teaching the 
choicest Tools, Baits, and Seasons for the taking of 
any Fish, etc., by I. D., Esqre. 1613/ He calls this 
collection ^ An English Garner,' and it seems to me 
a charming little vol. — (bar the binding!). If you 
know any likely person to send his prospectus to 
you might give me a hint, or send it him. Poor 
Jac k Stewart had an accident at Witley the other 
night. You know he is stone deaf, and he was 
walking home at night and a farmer in his cart 
met him, and tried to get out of his way (Stewart 
had his head down and did not see him). He 
knocked him down, damaged his teeth and bruised 
him. I saw him the next morning in bed, as jolly as 
ever. He told me it was quite delicious ! — when he 
got up and tried his legs and found they were not 
broken. The farmer was the more frightened and 
distressed of the two, and poor Stewart had to ply him 
with whiskey when they got home to cheer him up. 
A friend writes to me from Aberdeen : * I'm on the 
trail of some arrow-heads for you, one with the original 
wooden shaft in it ' ! A bookseller in London has a 
complete set of Dibdin's * Typographical Antiquities ' 
he wants twelve pounds for. He offers to allow me five 
pounds for my vols, i, 2, and 4 in the transaction. 
Would you close ? I've kept my pipes going ever 
since I came from Suffolk — skirling for a quarter of 
an hour every day, so they are in good order. I'm hot 



282 Cfiarleis lieene 



on some new tunes which I'll send you, 'The Chorus 
Jig* and* The Bonny Breastplate/ Have you sets 
in your book ? 

" I shall be so glad to hear from you when you 
write that youVe quite got over the * blast' ; and how 
is that poor stupid policeman ? I was touched by 
reading in the first account of the concern he ex- 
pressed for you on his recovering his senses. You 
will have noticed that our sapient editor took all the 
fun out of your subject of the Undertaker and the 
uncanny customer. I complained about it. How are 
the works selling at the Exhibition ? I don't sup- 
pose there will be any bites at mine. I did not put 
any figures to mine ; but, for reasons I will explain* 
I would put rather a prohibitive price on them — fifty 
pounds for the frame of * Punch' subjects, and twenty 
for the ' Pocket-book ' design. Were you taken with 
any particular pictures ? Have you anything of 
Albert Moore's ? The Moores are north country- 
men (York), and ought to be there. What a 'histo- 
rical ' view of the Tynemouth Aquarium, etc., there 
was in the paper the other day (the ' Graphic ' or 
* Illustrated '), with groves of trees and gardens that 
I don't remember seeing. Kindest regards to Mrs. 
Crawhall and all your sons and daughters. I hope 
the coming Landseer has sold his picture. Don't 
bother to answer this if you are enjoying your 
newly-acquired leisure ; a line that you are better will 
be a great pleasure to 

'* Yours ever, 

*' Charles S. Keene." 



llanHaliism 283 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea, 

"Saturday. 

{Nov. 2, 1878.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" Just a line. Tve been very busy and worried 
lately or you'd have had a letter. I saw in one of 
the papers a notice of that contemplated atrocity, the 
pulling down the old tower on the walls, and thought 
of you at the time, and how your wrath would be 
kindled. I can sympathize with you, though this 
sort of thing is going on so constantly in London 
that I should think only staunch Conservatives all 
round can help their perceptions and tastes getting 
blunted and callous from the constant friction. It 
must be more poignantly felt in a smaller town like 
yours. I remember a flagrant case in Ipswich. I 
was a boy comparatively, but my blood boiled then, 
and does now when I think of it. That was a 
large affair, but this little watch-tower on the wall — 
oh, they might spare it ! Caricature the Goths. I 
fancy Tve seen * a cat' such as you describe in some 
curiosity shop window, but should not have guessed 
its use. I hope I shall be able to get away and take 
advantage of your kindness for a day or two at the 
piping. They talk of getting 'Punch's Almanack' 
out earlier this year, so this gives me hopes. I hope 
'Clem of the Cleugh' will perform again. Poor 
Munro, my pipe preceptor and reed maker, has blown 
'his last breath.' He died the other day from a 



1^84 Charted lieene 



rapid lung disease. The other day I picked up the 
third vol. of Dibdin s * Typ. Ant.,' so that my set 
is complete ; gave 305". for it. It seems a good 
copy, but there are several pages with blank spaces 
instead of the printers device, e.g. : pages 541, John 
Mayler ; 573, Robert Joy ; 579, Richard Lant; 251, 
Richard Banks, etc. Is it the same in your copy ? 
It says in the advertisement : * When the devices of 
printers could not be procured, a blank space within 
a single line frame has been substituted * — so I hope 
it's all right. Arber was very much obliged for the 
list you sent him through me ; he said, with one 
exception, the names were unknown to him. How 
did you like * The English Garner*? Wasn't it a 
frightful cover ? I thought that collection of * Posies ' 
would be useful to you. W. Lawson was off to 
Scotland this morning. He talked of breaking his 
. journey as he came back at Newcastle. Was he 
satisfied at the hanging of his pictures ? He did not 
tell me much of what he did when he was there. I 
shall write you a letter as soon as Tve 'broken the 
back ' of my Christmas work. 

** I hope Mrs. Crawhall and all yours are well, and 
am, *' Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

" II, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea, 

''Dec. 16 [1878]. 

" Dear Crawhall, 

'* I've still the confounded 'Punch' Index and 



'i^eplDooti ^arUp 285 



Preface to do this week ; for the latter I have to 
wait for the editor, and have not been able to get it 
from him yet ; so I'm obliged, to my great dis- 
appointment, to give up my visit to you and the pipe 
concert, but it can*t be helped. I can't thank you 
adequately for your kindness. I hope your son is 
better. Lawson told me he had got a chill and 
severe cold from sitting in wet clothes, but we hoped, 
from your not mentioning it, that he was getting over 
it. Hammer it into the boy's mind that he may 
over-eat, get drunk, act any imprudence, except that, 
till he's forty ; by that time he'll know it himself The 
programme you sent me this morning went to my 
heart : should like to have heard * Cleugh * play 
' Felton Louvion ' and * Jacky Layton,' the two 
typical Northumberland tunes. I imagine you chose 
them on that account. I have your first quaint 
MS. programme stowed away somewhere for re- 
membrance in after years, and shall take the same 
care of the present. Perhaps next year, if we're 
all alive, I may hear them again. My great pipes 
have been silent for months. I don't seem to 
have any time but for work now-a-days. I was at 
Heywood Hardy's, the animal painter, last Sunday 
night. He's very clever musically too — plays the 
penny whistle, the zither (have you heard this 
instrument ? — charming, but difficult). I'm trying 
to resist the desire to have one — foresee I shall cave 
in ; and he plays the old English guitar exquisitely — 
the same instrument that that Newcastle dealer had 
and sent me a sketch of I have a very pretty one 



286 Ctarle0 lieene 



in the original case, a.d. 176 — , which Hardy is 
stringing for me. 

" Remember me kindly to Canon Greenwell when 
you see him. One reason I have not written to him 
was the thinking I should see him this Christmas. 
Now I shall try and screw up my confidence and 
write to him. Do you know if his late researches 
have been described anywhere ? The work I spoke 
to you of I have to get done by the end of April, so 
it will be after that time that I can get away ; but 
don't let us have any specific projects. Liberty, * the 
country/ and congenial company, is sufficient elysium 
to look for. I f a barrow accidently turns up, that is 
all extra. I don't know whether you'll see Lawson 
to-morrow. He asked me if I was going, and at last 
said if I'd go he would. It has been as dark as 
night all day, and in London you can't get enough 
gas to work by till five o'clock ! so that if a fellow 
depends on a model, as I am just now, his occupa- 
tion's gone. 

'' I hope you and your friends have not been hurt 
by these banks breaking. I'm supposed to be in a 
stew, as I have some gas shares, and was advised 
right and left to sell, but I've stuck to them as yet. 
Remember me to Stevenson and all my friends in 
Newcastle and about. And with kindest regards to 
you and Mrs. Crawhall and yours, 

'' I am, 

*• Yours very sincerely, 

*' Charles S. Keene." 



CHAPTER X. 

■ 1879— 1882. 

Removal from Queen's Road to 239, King's Road, Chelsea. — 
Mr. Dudley's account. — Letter, July 26, 1879. — Letter, November 
aj, 1879. — Letter, December 5, 1879. — Edition de Luxe of 
Thackeray's Works. — Illustrations to " Roundabout Papers." — 
Edward Fitzgerald. — Portraits of Thackeray — "Zii Vie Modeme." 
— Letter, May 16, 1880, — Letter, July 16, 1880. — "Border Notes 
and Mixty-Maxty." — Death of Keene's mother. — Letter, June 19, 
1881. — His love of young people. — A useful hack-walizer. — 
Fancy dress. — Letter, August 6, 1881. — Keene's portrait by 
SirGeorge Reid. — Letter, October ao, 1881. — "Our People." — 
Undated letter to Mr. Tuer. — Miss Jean Ingelow's recollections. 
— Keene's appearance in later years. — Mr. Mills. — " Just like a 
lord."— letter, June 10, 1882.- Letter, June 24, 1882.— Letter, 
October 12, 1 88a. 

gN 1879, the Queen's Road premises 
being required for local improvements, 
Keene removed to his last studio at 
239, King's Road, Chelsea. Of a 
visit paid to him here by his son, Mr. Dudley writes : 
" There was a curiously quaint flavour about his 
simplicity of life and personal arrangements. My 
son went to see him at his studio in Chelsea, and, 
Bnding Keene hard at work, sat quietly down looking 




C^arlrg i&eent 



about him at the jumble of 'properties.' He was 
somewhat puzzled by a strange-looking apparatus 
on the hob,' and wondered what its purpose could 




be. Keene looked up and, noticing this, said: 
' What do you think that is, Guildford ?' ' Well, I 

' This is a mistake. The apparatus was over a gas-light, 
brought by a flexible lube on to a stool in the middle of the 
room. 



Culinary 289 



can't make out/ ' That's my lunch. I bring it from 
home and cook it up here. See here! Splendid 
idea!' and he explained how, with the coiled spring 
taken from an old * Gibus ' hat, and a jam gallipot, 
he had constructed a culinary contrivance for the 
purpose. It did not much matter to C. K. whether 
the original delicacy slightly suffered, for his sense 
of taste was, as he said, next to nothing, though I 
believe he liked anything he took to be as hot as it 
could be made. At the club he would take his cup 
of coffee from the dining to the smoking-room, 
placing it by the fire until it was at a temperature 
high enough to scarify any ordinary palate. Keene, 
however, seemed to enjoy it so with his pipe." 

To Joseph Crawhally Esq. 

"11, Queen's Road West, 
" Chelsea, 

" Saturday, y«/y 26M, '79. 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I've been miserable lately at having neglected 
writing to you for so long, but it has not been really 
neglect. There are letters one is obliged to write, 
and those one sits down to as a pleasure, and I've 
been looking forward to having a long 'crack' with 
you. I am five or six weeks ahead with my work, 
for which I've been pegging away, and am a month 
' to the good ' now, but a few weeks ago my hopes 
were all dashed by a notice to quit from my landlord, 
which has disheartened me altogether. * Good-bye ' 
to all ideas of a holiday this summer, which must be 
wasted in looking out for a den and moving with all 

u 



290 C|)acle0 %eene 



my rubbish. But let us cheer up ; better luck next 
time. How did you get on in your jaunt by Coquets 
side ? We had miserable weather about the time 
down here. When it did not rain we had dark days 
with a leaden-coloured sky. I hope you had better 
luck and heavy creels full of fish. Tell me of your 
adventures — * babble o' green fields * to me ! and I 
look for some 1879 sketch-books with bits of wild 
Northumbria by-and-by. Til try and not covet them. 
I enclose you some of mine haphazard for your 
scrap-book, but I wish if you should see any par- 
ticular one in * Punch ' you would tell me. You 
should not scruple, considering the many IVe taken 
out of your collection. I thought of you the other 
night when I called on my friend Haydon, of whom 
I've spoken to you. He*s the staunchest angler I 
know south of you. He lives in Bedlam — don't be 
alarmed ; he is steward of that celebrated institu- 
tion, and has a house with large garden in the 
precincts. He had hatched, and I helped him to 
bottle off, several thousand young trout to put into 
a stream near Powderham Castle, Devonshire. Long 
may it ripple on, and Coquet and the rest, un- 
poisoned. To parody Lord John Manners' couplet — 

* Let indusiries and manufactures die, 

But leave us still our trout and salmon fry'! 

Passing strange, to stock a Devonshire stream 
with fish reared in the heart of Southwark, within 
stink of Berniondsey ! Wasn't Coquet in spate this 
spring ? The Thames has not been fishable. My 
Irish angler has got married, and goes not a-fishing 



g)nttiiO'.|)untfng; 291 



this summer. I ought to have thanked you before 
for those quaint catalogues from Cockermouth you 
sent me. They go into my big scrap-book — elephant 
folio — with many other out-of-the-way cuttings you 
have sent me, and are of salutary effect on me just 
now. The Nemesis of collecting faces me now I've 
got to move into a new den, and one has to resist 
the tempting desire to inquire about some of these 
treasures. What does he charge for his catalogues ? 
I don't like to take yours, and I should like some 
more. W. B. Scott has offered to let me his studio, 
and for some things I should like it, but there are 
objections. There is no private entrance, and I 
should have to go through his house and garden. I 
like the old boy as far as I've been acquainted with 
him. You've known him a long time, I expect. Do 
you like him ? And the place looks damp. I've 
never caught rheumatism, and would rather not. . . . 
I believe it would be the cheapest way for me to 
build, but, as a Scot that I knew always used to be 
saying, * Ah canna be bawthered w'it' I'm the more 
anxious to get into a fairly comfortable place from a 
feeling that if I stay in it as long as I have in my 
last and former ones I shall be pretty well worked 
out in my present groove, and, perhaps, only fit to 
sit in my chair and read or make bagpipe reeds 
' whiles.' But if I lose my holiday this year — and it 
looks like it — I shall still cherish the hope of that 
^ Barrow,' or a peep at * Coquet,' or Umfreville Castle, 
or the weird * Simonside,' or * Watling Street' another 
time. Have you come across any new tunes lately? 



292 C|)arle0 l&eene 



My pipes are * going/ but my preceptor, poor Munro, 
the best reed maker in Christendy, is dead. I shall 
try and make the acquaintance of Ross, the Queen's 
Piper, who, I hear, is a gentlemanly sort of fellow. 
I am tempted to send you a letter I had the other 
day from that eccentric old Scot I told you of, the 
rather as he mentions you (IVe shown him your 
verses, epigrams, and the * Fishers' Garland,' etc.). 
His writing is crabbed, so dont be *bawthered w'it' 
if you don't like (I've marked the passage with red), 
but he's a * character,' and a good, innocent old fellow 
and a hot Jacobite, though in the nineteenth century. 
I've taken to the tune * The Bonny Breastplate' for 
the pipes, and see if * The Chorus Jig' is in your 
books; it's a screamer. Does the pipe 'consort' 
come off this year in Newcastle ? I should like to 
hear * Clem of the Cleugh ' discourse again. I don't 
think he'll be easy to beat. You ought to have a 
gold medal to be given to the best piper, to be the 
property of the taker of the first prize three years 
running. This would help much to keep up the 
practice of the instrument. Make the design your- 
self. Or let the medal be of silver; then, large and 
handsome. Another idea for a prize: some lady 
might embroider in silk the arms of Northumbria 
on a velvet bag-cover. By-the-by, the title-page of 
that book of Montagu's is (black lettering) * Stan- 
dards borne by Peers and Knights in the time of 
King Henry y*" Eighth' (arms of Pickering) ; then 
comes a page of dedication, with Montagu s coat 
underneath. Among the banners are those of * The 



Collecting; 293 



Herle of Northumberland/ the Baron of Hylton, 
M. Lylle, M. Wawhan (Vaughan), M.Stonere, Lord 
Lomley, etc, I fancy some of these are northern 
gentry. The buyer at the sale has written on the 
fly-leaf, * Purchased at the sale of the private library 
of the late Basil Montagu Pickering, 28th May, 
1879/ Mr. Montagu was the author of * Montagu's 
Heraldry' and the illustrator of * Drummond's 
Noble Families.' Do you know this latter book ? 
Pick it up if ever you see it. I saw a copy at 
Pickering's. They told me it was scarce, and yearly 
increasing in value; that old Pickering lost money 
by the publication. It was expensively and beauti- 
fully * got up.' I still pick up a book now and then 
to pore over some day. That flint craze has whirled 
me into geology and prehistoric antiquities generally. 
I'm going to a sale to-morrow to try and *bag' an 
old Herbal with woodcuts. Remember me to Canon 
Greenwell when you see him. I should like to have 
written to him, but thought I should see him last 
December ; and then he is such a master, and I'm 
such a very tyro, that I was afraid of boring him. I 
have inserted the photo of his Roman * phisog ' into 
his * British Barrows.' 

** A friend of mine who bought a lot of my * Punch' 
sketches writes to me to-day if I would object to 
their sending some to Newcastle. I'm ashamed of 
*em, but they would like to I know, so I shall con- 
sent. How does your son get on with his work — 
the artist? A friend of mine, an animal painter, 
told me a story the other day. He comes from 



294 Cttarlecr l&ttnt 



Wiltshire, and began early. His father used to send 
him into the fields to sketch cattle when he was 
ten, and he came to London late. He made the 

acquaintance of , who is rather a conceited 

party. He looks down on and patronizes my friend, 
who, nevertheless, gets on with him. Goddard met 

the other day at the Zoological Gardens, who 

said, in his grand way, he had come to make a study 

of a lion. They parted for an hour, and then 

looked very down in the mouth. * Damn the brutes, 
they won't keep still !' My friend expected this, and 

enjoyed his triumph. * My dear , if you want 

to paint animals, it's no good waiting till they stand 

still !' is a precious clever painter, though. I 

see in Drayton s * Battle of Agincourt,* where he 
describes the array and the banners, he gives the 
device of Northumberland to be 'two lions fighting, 
tearing one another.* Is this device in use now? 

** Will you send me that epigram of yours about 
Queen Elizabeth ? IVe mislaid my copy and can't 
find it. I want to send a copy of it to Montagu's 
sister (an authoress), who is an admirer of your 
muse. She was delighted with the * Hot trod. 

" You must be pretty well tired of this budget by 
this time. I'll write again from my new den. I 
send my kind regards to you all, and hope to see 
you in ' Bonny Newcassel' some day. 

" Yours ever, 

'* Charles S. Keene. 

*' Throw the old piper's letter in the fire if you 
can't decipher it." 



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T6i\ns'^ EoaH 295 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

" 32, Hammersmith Road, 

** Friday night. 
[Received N<n\ 23, 1879.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

** Fancy yourself being turned out of your studio 
{i.e.y your entire house), having packed up all your 
familiar traps higgeldy pig"^^, and carted them off to 
be stacked in a remote warehouse, and then having 
to carry on your work in a small bedroom already 
' lumbered up ' with knick-knacks of another sort, in 
your busiest time too, and therewith having to look 
out and run about to find another den. That has 
been my case for the last two months. Tve at last 
found one in Chelsea (329, Kings Road). I think 
that's the number ; not quite got it by heart yet ; 
awful difficult number to remember — no clue. All 
this by way of excuse for not having written to you 
for so long — a poor one, but my best. I hope you are 
all right at home again and your boy got over his 
fever. Never mind about the tract (* Breath of 
Life'), especially if you've read, marked, and in- 
wardly digested it. I believe it's ' the Sovereignest 
thing on earth.' I'm so much obliged for the two 
books which came in my sore need. I'm sorry I 
made the mistake in that legend ; I wrote it from 
memory in haste. I hope to draw upon the vols, 
further. Are not you getting rather tired of your 
Exhibition work ? I like to know that you are by 
stream and mountain, and jotting down bits of wild 
Northumbria between whiles, for three or four 



296 C^arlecr l&eene 



months, though I'm not so fortunate myself. Your 
muse will get jealous and sulky too. Til be bound 
you have not written a song this summer, but I 
think it has been an * annus non ' all round for every- 
body. By the mass ! when I think what I've missed. 
Imprimis, that barrow! and the dreams I had of 
seeing * Simonside, and * Watling Street/ and some 
place with a pretty name * where the lambs are feed- 
ing,' that I can't recollect, and some castle of the old 
Umfrevilles — all through your sketches. Then I had 
promised to spend a few days with poor Macdonald, 
of Aberdeen, who, actually, when I was there last 
had a sort of piper skirling away in his garden one 
afternoon for my delectation. Then again, I was to 
go for a week or so to my friend Fitzgerald (the old 
Literate, we call him) — he has lately published 
some translations of Persian poesy ! (Quaritch, 
10^. 6cl.\ — have not invested!) — who was staying 
on the Suffolk coast. I was to meet there an old 
schoolfellow, ** Big Badger" (his real name is imma- 
terial, it was Big and Little Badger. The brothers 
were named from their bristly hair). Big Badger is 
the Professor of Sanscrit at Cambridge, and an 
awful pundit, but Fitzgerald tells rae he is delight- 
ful, and that all the time he was there (big botanist 
too) he was hunting about for a particular species 
of nettle that the Romans had broucrht over ! This 
would have been delicious! but *hope springs eternal,' 
etc. Better luck next year. I hope I shall be able 
to jump at your kind invitation for the pipe contest, 
and to sit and have another pipe with you in your 



Coar0 of Slrm0 297 



snug den. Til work hard for it, but please don*t 
make me a judge ; I never was a judge of anything, 
never in * the chair ' anywhere — may have been in a 
committee, but would swear I did not understand it. 
Did not you ask me, alas ! in a letter or two ago, for 
the colour of my coat of arms ? I like the Sparrowe 
coat best (my mother s). That bundle of arrows in 
my fathers seems to me modern, and I know the 
Sparrowe's is a real old one. I send an impression 
of the latter from an old silver seal, judged to be 
temp. Henry VIII. You will see the lower corner 
, of the shield is worn off, and the top of the crest 
(unicorn s head). Montagu says anyone can alter 
his crest if he likes. One of the Sparrowe mottoes 
IVe seen I like, * Je me contente.' I've seen another 
in Latin, but forget it. I should like to send you 
that MS. of Montagu's, but am afraid of boring 
you if you are very busy ; but say the word and Til 
send it. I think it will give you some pretty hints 
in heraldie. 

''Dec. — I've not seen the Fosters since they were 
in Northumberland. They went first to Rothbury, 
but after to Warkworth, which I heard they liked 
best. I shall be down at Witley about Xmas, I dare 
say. You heard, I dare say, of all poor Whistler's 
misfortunes, and of the climax, his losing his house 
and studio. He had quarrelled lately with his archi- 
tect, and the night before he left he wrote over the 
door, * Unless the Lord build the house the labour is 
in vain of him that buildeth it. George Godwin 
built this, 1879.' W. Lawson and his wife were 



298 evaded l&eene 



passing, and read the inscription. They were quite 
touched ! Mrs. L. said she almost cried ! they ac- 
tually thought it was written in serious sadness! 
This was pretty, as old Pepys would have said ! I 
was introduced to a Newcastle man the other day 
at the Arts Club ; said he knew you. Was his name 
Nicholson*? A young man I should describe as in 
very good condition. Is he an artist ? I fancy he 
was dining with Carr, the art critic. 

'* I thank you very much for the pamphlet on birds ; 
it will help to swell my collection of * Miscellanea/ a 
sort of book Tm very fond of — interesting pamphlets 
not cropped, of slightly ununiform sizes, bound in 
boards, the names written on backs on white label ! 
I still collect books. I shall never be able to help that. 
I shy prints, though I was tempted yesterday with 
some Chodowieckis and fell ! China ? Avaunt ! 
though a friend of mine has a plate I have coveted 
for years. If I ever get it, I shall offer to hang it up 
at the Arts Club. It bears only this simple, though 
enigmatical, inscription — ' The one-eyed sportsman, 
gentleman.' I presume it was a toast of the last 
century ! 

**The Belper Quaker's catalogues are most enticing, 
but, by Jove ! he seems to have a very adequate idea 
of the interest and value of flint instruments ! How 
far is Belper from Newcastle ? Have you had 
" Liver " this winter, or has your hard work exorcised 
it ? I've had a touch lately. I fancy it must be from 
missing my daily six-mile walk to and from my studio. 
I find working at home demoralizing in many ways — 



Ctiel0ea ^tutiio 299 



too comfortable. At the town *chop house' the 
viands are not universally appetizing, and they take 
care not to give you too much, and I have often 
thought that is one healthy element of the bachelor 
working man in London ; but at home you get meats 
your soul loveth ; and in any case, lately, I did not 
get enough exercise. And then there's the 'bacco. 
I'm certain your smoker requires exercise, and I 
find by stopping my 'bacco I get better every hour. 
So give me eight miles walk a day and smoke as 
often as you like. My new den is a first floor flat in 
a corner house, so I've a lighter room than I ever 
had before, one great desideratum. But there's an 
awful * set off.' There are strangers in the flat above 
me and below, and my breathing chanter will proudly 
swell no more ! I must be content with the practice- 
stick, and have a good spell on some lonely sea- 
shore in the summer. In other respects I shall not 
be so comfortable as heretofore. The landlord is a 
Philistine, and insists a good deal on the Respectable^ 
so IVe had to put up no end of blinds and stair- 
carpets. My studio has a drawing-room air about it 
(at present !), with a gorgeous paper. I like a wall 
that you can knock a nail in with a clear conscience. 
If I live there a year or so, how I shall enjoy putting 
a wash of distemper over the entire superficies ! I 
shall try and cover it with sketches, and frame my 
prints. I suppose you've been too much engaged 
to have added to your treasures. Did you ever get 
anything blindly from the Cockermouth catalogues ? 
I have acquired a few flint scrapers from Surrey, 



300 C|)arUfi( %eene 



and one beautifully chipped arrow-head found in 
Suffolk, worthy of Canon Greenwell's collection. I 
cut a paragraph from the * Times ' the other day, 
about some barrows he had been opening somewhere. 
If you should learn that there is a fuller account of 
these discoveries published, I wish you would let me 
know. I picked up Evans's book on Flint Imple- 
ments that Tve been looking out for ever so long, 
for eighteen shillings — cheap, as the book seldom 
turns up, and it must have cost more originally. 
Have you read Burton*s * Scot Abroad ' ? — very good. 
I met W. B. Scott to-day. He went to Scotland in 
August with * Liver,' but says he is all right again. 
I'm sorry I lost the studio he would have let me. 1 
think I should have got on very well with him. 
The Anti-Restoration Society are in a great flurry 
about St. Mark's, Venice. Have you had a circular ? 
I see that eminent Conservative (for the nonce), 
Burne Jones, has been haranguing about it at a 
meeting, and W. Morris too, — pestilent Rads. at the 
same time. I can't understand this ! I saw in the 
paper you sent me, in the account of Bruce's lecture, 
that a lady sang the ballad of * My love has newly 
listed.' Where are the words to be found? I've 
never come across Chappell ; I should like to pump 
him about the Northumberland music, and will if I 
get a chance. I fancy he's rather a hermit. I joined 
an old London Madrigal Society the other day, that 
meets in a room belonging to the ' Royal Society of 
Musicians,' hung round with portraits of ancient com- 
posers. We sit round at tables with * Chapel Royal ' 




81 a^alirigal ^ocietp 301 

boys as sopranos and altos, and howl away at the 
glorious works of Byrd, Gibbons, Purcell, etc., so 
refreshing after the pestilent modern rubbish one's 
ear is so constantly disturbed with. You know the 
libretti of the old things, I dare say, — though, in 
condemning modern music, I except such excellent 
* fooling' as Sullivan's * Pinafore.' Do you know it ? 
Have you done any more with your projected ballad 
opera ? Montagu s brother, the merry old parson, 
sent me a Shakespearian motto for a Michaelmas 
goose the other day — I forget the play, and the 
exact quotation, but to this effect : 

*So fair without, but such stuff (ing) within/^ 

I think this is new. I think it must be in * Othello ' 

or * Lear.' I see J. M nearly every week, and 

have a game of * Tric-Trac ' with him. He says he 
can't see to draw any more, and I think you've got 
about the last things from his hand. He gets deaf 
Coo, but says he can hear me better than most 
speakers. Spends all his time reading ; he likes 
travels best and novels ! Can't stand anything anti- 
quarian, and music he abhors ! and, if you mention 
poetry, he storms ; but his sister, who writes to him 
constantly, is a great admirer of your muse, and he 
showed me a highly commendatory criticism of hers 
on your * Hot trod.' How does your son the painter 
^et on ? I suppose he'll be sending to the R.A. 
next year. Tom Taylor went with his family to 

' "So fair an outward and such stuff within." 

CymbdinCy Act i., Sc i. 



302 Ctiarle0 Iktttit 



Skye this autumn, and he was telling us how de- 
lighted Wickliffe (his boy's name) was at shooting 
the grouse and wild fowl, and hunting the otter, and 
killing the salmon, and of his paraphernalia of guns 
and rods and nets, etc., etc. One of the hearers 
mildly asked if he was going to study at his pro- 
spective profession — *Oh yes,' said Tom (startled 
at this important omission) ; * he's taken all his oils 
and his water-colours ! ' Did your young people 
go in * motley ' to the last Exhibition ball ? and Mrs. 
Crawhall in the Rembrandt costume ? I suppose 
Stevenson is back in Tynemouth by this time. I 
expect every week to see him turn up at the Arts 
Club. 

I send my kindest regards to all in Eldon Square, 
and hope to see you before the year's end. I suppose 
Cleugh will come to the front again at the competi- 
tion, and * wipe the eye ' of the Piper of the Princely 
House of Percy. 

** Adieu. 

'' Yours ever, 

''Charles S. Keene." 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

" 239 K.ings' Road 
** Chelsea. 

^^Dec, 5, 1879.] 

^* Dear Crawhall, 

'* I told you it was a difficult number to re- 
collect ! You made it 3^9 — but the Post Office was 
equal to the occasion, and I got them all right. 
One friend directed to * 238.' This beat them, and the 



"^EounHabout iBaperd" 303 



letters went to the Dead office. Tve been working 
tooth and nail to be able to come to you on Monday, 
and, if no just cause or impediment intervenes, I 
shall start on that day by the morning train, reaching 
Newcastle about six or seven, I suppose. Don't 
wait dinner for me, as I shall *grub' on the road, but 
save me a mug of tea. You know my weakness for 
that Johnsonian beverage. I suggested to Ridley, 
a friend of mine who works for the * Graphic,' 
that the competition would make a good subject for 
the paper. He said he should see Thomas, the head 
man, about it, but I've not heard from him whether 
he was successful. Perhaps, though, they might not 
send a man on purpose. A sketch sent might suit 
them. Your son might have a shy with a sketch of 
a piper and his pipes. I feel quite elated at a few 
days' holiday, having had my nose at the grindstone 
for so long without a break, but I can only take two 
or three days ! I shall bring up the Heraldic M.S., 
but you'll let me have the picture-books a little 
longer. You will have seen what a God-send 
they've been to me. I ought to have written before, 
to give you time to write, in case my coming might 
be inconvenient (if so, telegraph — 239 — but not if it is 
all right), and D.V. I shall be up on Monday. 

** In haste, 

*' Yours ever, 

** Charles S. KeeiNe." 

On the publication this year by Messrs. Smith and 
Elder of the £ditmt cie Itixe of Thackeray's works. 



304 Ct)dtle0 Ikttnt 



Keene was called upon to illustrate the ** Roundabout 
Papers," for which he made eight full-page drawings, 
and several initials. These were again used in the 
** Standard '* edition, 1885. Writing in 18S0, Edward 
Fitzgerald makes allusion to some of these which 
Keene had forwarded to him.^ The letter is so 
characteristic, and evinces such warm affection for the 
artist, that I cannot refrain from a long quotation, 
although it has already appeared in Mr. Aldis 
Wright's " Letters and Literary Remains** of that 
essential dilettante. 

** As I am not an artist (though a very great 
author), I will say that four of your drawings 
seem capital to me. I cannot remember the * Round- 
abouts,' which they initialed, except two: (i) The 
Idle, Lazy Boy, which you note as not being used, 
I suppose from not being considered sufficiently ap- 
propriate to the Essay (which I forget), but which I 
thought altogether good ; and the Old Man with a 
look of Edwards ! (2) Little Boy in Black, very 
pretty. (3) (I forget the Essay) People looking at 
Pictures ; one of them, the principal, surely a recol- 
lection of W. M. T. himself. Then (4) there was a 
Bawling Boy : subject forgotten. I looked at them 
many times through the forenoon, and came away 
here at two p.m. 

^ In an undated letter to Mr. Stewart, Keene writes: "I spent 
the day as I came home at Woodbridge, with old Fitzgerald ; he's 
an eccentric old fellow ; they think him daft at Woodbridge, but he's 
just one of our sort — very bookish, and fond of art, and delightful 
company." 



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3|llu0trdtion0 305 



** I do not suppose or wish that you should make 
over to me all these drawings, which, I suppose, 
are the originals from which the wood was cut. 
I say I do not * wish,' because I am in my seventy- 
second year, and I now give away rather than accept ; 
but I wished for one, at least, of your hand, for it's 
own sake and as a remembrance, for what short time 
is left me, of one whom I can sincerely say I regard 
greatly for himself, as also for those Dunwich days 
in which I first became known to him — *Voila qui 
est dit/ " 

It is not my purpose in this place, indeed it 
would be presumptuous on my part, to attempt to 
criticise the work of the great artist with whose 
Life we are concerned. Many far more competent 
have had their say, and many more, doubtless, will 
do so as time goes on, but I cannot refrain from 
recording my opinion that no finer or more sym- 
pathetic illustrations could be found in the whole 
range of illustrated literature than those to **A Great 
Battle,'* "A Riding Lesson," " The Evening Post," not 
to mention the initial letters to " Tunbridge Toys," 
*' Round about the Christmas Tree," and ** Nil Nisi 
Bonum," in these volumes. An adventitious interest 
also attaches to these pictures, containing, as they 
do, half-a-dozen portrait-studies from the life of the 
great novelist by the great artist, both of whose 
names will be for ever inseparably connected with 
the greater part ot the first half century of ** Punch's " 
existence. 

This year, 1880, saw an appreciative article on 

X 



3o6 Ctiarled Ikttnt 



Keene's method, from the pen of M. Charpentier, in 
the fourteenth number of ** La Vie Moderne." 



To/. M. Stewart, Esq. 

** 239, King's Road, 
" Friday. 

lAfay 16, 1880.] 

*' Dear Jack, 

** I had a very pleasant visit to Hook's from 
Saturday to Monday ; went down with the Dudleys 
and Macdonald. He has a regular farm, and I 
enjoyed some real butter. On Monday morning, 
just as we were coming away, Bri. Hook pressed me 
to get on his bicycle as it stood in the hall (tiled 
floor). I was not very sweet on the proposal, but 
he said he'd hold it, and there was no risk, so I 
mounted, but in lifting my leg to dismount I suppose 
I leaned over too much, and the wheel disappeared 
from under me and I came down *a buster'! with 
my heels in the air, in a way, the bystanders said, 
frightful to behold ! Luckily I did not hurt myself, 
but with a bruise on my elbow and knee, but his 
machine was utterly put out of drawing ! We walked 
afterwards to Farnham, Allan and I and a man 
named Farquharson, who came down on the Sunday. 
Did I tell you of the ball at Colin Hunter's? It was 
considered a great success. I meant to come away 
early, but asked Mrs. Marcus Stone to dance, and 
she was engaged till nearly the end, so I was obliged 
to stay, and went at it with the rest of them, but as I 
did not eat any supper I was as fresh as paint the 



ILettew 307 

next morning. About a dozen or so of them danced 
a reel, at which Maccallum was 'great/ Macdonald 
has gone back. I promised if I could get away in 
June rd come and see him for a week in Aberdeen. 
Had a letter yesterday from Crawhall. He tells me 
he is going to move from Newcastle more into the 
country ; is retiring from his firm and going to sell 
most of his books and pictures (from the bother of 
moving such a bulk of them). I told him I was 
sorry for this. I don't know whether I shall see 
him this summer. I expect all this will prevent our 
having a jaunt together, as we projected. I've not 
been to the Academy yet. Poor Lewis pulls a very 
long face. Mrs. Heseltine gives a ball on nth June. 

I hear M and E are going to stay with the 

Bruces in Argyleshire. Tve promised to go to 
Dudley's on the 26th to meet the B. F.'s. When 
does Charlie go to the bank ? I shall go and see 
Andrews to-morrow, if possible. 

" Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene. 



" Love to the young ones. 



It 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

239, King's Road. 

[Received y/^/y 16, 1880]. 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I hope this will reach you in some remote retreat 
by sea or river enjoying a holiday this jolly Mid- 
summer weather, else what's the good of having 
retired from business ? Would'nt I kick up my heels 



3o8 Cfjarleg ISieerxe 



in like case ! and it would be quite refreshing to hear 
from you, sporting in some of your border wilds. I've 
snatched a day or two at a time lately at Witley, 
idling mostly, or an hour or two's sweating at lawn 
tennis. I met Rob. S. Watson, who came for a day 
to Fosters. His yarns about his travels in Morocco 
were amusing, and I'm curious to hear the full parti- 
culars in the book he is writing. When we got on to 
political talk, B. F. and I, who are modest Tories, had 
as much as we could do to hold our own against this 
radical hot gospeller ! I forget whether I told you that 
I found it was no use my doing that capital subject 
you sent me of the Conservative Cook. The * Punch' 
people are such pestilent Rads., I should have lost 
my pains. I'll do the Sportsman with the Hedgehog 
immediately. I have still six vols, of albums, and 
whenever I take one up find it is not exhausted — 
still on tap ! I send you a sketch that was sent me 
years ago ; I never used it, but it struck me as funny 
if you did not know it. It would make a good subject 
for a mug I thought. I have lately become acquainted 
with the Miss Cobdens, daughters of the celebrated 
Rich'^ the Reformer (they must have been quite 
young children when he died). They are Radicals, 
of course, zealous for Women's Rights and Electoral 
Abilities, and are a good deal bitten with the prevail- 
ing mania for dramatics. I've seen them act in 
private theatricals, and have met them often at the 
houses of friends of the Liberal persuasion, and I being 
on the * Punch ' staff, they imagined that I was a Rad. 
with the rest. I astonished them the other day when 



Coffee ti. public I^ou0e0 309 

I told 'em I was a hot Tory. They asked me one day 
to a meeting on * Women's Electoral Disabilities ' at 
their house. There were to be no end of strong- 
minded ladies and congenial M.Ps. ** Discussion 
invited " ! I did not go ('twas in working hours). 
However, I wrote, if they would send me an epigram 
from the advanced female point of view, I would 
make a drawing for ' Punch/ I had also promised to 
do something on the question of ' Coffee v. Pub. 
Houses.' They have started one in their country 
village. Here Tm with them, as Tm a natural tee- 
totaller. Tve racked my brains in vain as yet, and 
can't devise anything. Here's a chance for you ! I've 
told them I shall ask the assistance of a friend in the 
North, a great Wit and Satirist, so think for us over 
your early pipe. I thought of adapting your drawing 
in the album of the navvy who did not see the use 

of "foolin' on wi' coffee, when you can burrn yer 

vary liver oot " ! but the application actually seems 
equivocal then ! You may sometimes wonder why 
some of the best in the albums have not appeared, 
but I've done a good many on paper, and am saving 
them to send in if I get away on holidays — Ahasuerus, 
for instance, etc. I find myself declaiming them as I 
go home at night, so that I must be often taken for a 
maniac by people passing, I fancy ! I saw a friend 
from India yesterday. He loitered through Italy, 
Rome, Florence, Naples, etc. ; found the cities awfully 
dirty, and wasn't altogether pleased. He said he met 
an American tourist who grumbled too. The latter 
said, **This I-talian climate's all very well, but I assure 



3IO diaries Ikzznt 



you, sir, I have'nt had a square meal since I've been 
in this classic old country " ! I think this, with St. 
Peter s or the leaning tower in the background, will 
do. 

" I hear two of your nestlings are mating. May I 
send my congratulations and good wishes ? I shall 
be sending back your music book soon, as I think I've 
extracted all I want from it — very nearly the entire 
contents. I shall enclose some tunes I've picked out 
from a lot of old ballad operas of the last century ; 
the titles seem suggestive, and I find some character 
in the airs. Did you ever see an old book of songs 
called * Clio and EuXerpe " ? There appear to be two 
vols. It is printed from copper plates I fancy, with 
illustrations over each song, some of them pretty. I 
had a shabby copy with some of the songs torn out, 
but I've lost one vol., in which was a sea song, with 
a plate of two sailors and a girl. One of the figures 
is, I fancy, a boatswain, the costume very good. He 
wears a heart-shaped gorget by a chain round his 
neck, with a ship on it, and has his whistle in his 
hand. I shall not be easy till I pick up this vol. again. 
I made an initial for ' Punch ' years ago of this figure 
of the boatswain. It's a sort of a book you would 
have if ever you met with it. I was looking into 
Noseda's window in the Strand yesterday, and saw 
one of those Morlands that Robinson had that I 
wanted to * nobble * — a fine impression, plain, I fancy 
those we saw were coloured. It was not that one of 
the Soldier. The next time Tm near there I shall go 
in and learn the ' figure.' I had looked in at Sotheby 



^cotcf) (Bamtfi 311 



and Wilkinson's, and thought of you. It was a snug 
little company of dealers having it all their own way 
with a collection of Rembrandt's etchings. Some very 
nice ones I saw — heads about this size ^ — knocked 
down at from one to ten pounds, but I am not an 
expert. I was after a book in a comtng'sa.le. How does 
Joe get on with his painting ? That disposition he 
seems to have of getting dissatisfied with his work 
shows he's a real artist, but try and get him to stick hard 
to his ideas and work 'em out to the bitter end ! — the 
end will perhaps be bitter for some time, but it must 
be swallowed. You'll have to make him realize by 
keeping him short of money ! Did he carry out that 
picture of the Shepherd and his Dog in the Highland 
Cottage ? Have you seen any more of our piping 
friend (Allison) ? The practice-chanter reed he gave 
me turned out a very good one, but the cane it was 
made of was not first-rate — not hard enough. I've 
not found a reed maker yet, and don't expect to find 
such a one as my old master, Munro ; he had been a 
carpenter, and understood wood. There was a 
Scotch * Games' the other day at Lillie Bridge ground, 
near me at Chelsea, and I went to hear the pipers. 
They played all our tunes. I kept by the pipers all 
the time, did not look at the games — pitching the 
caber, etc. I think they saw this, and were flattered. 
I asked one of them about reeds, but they told me 
of Glen, and I turned up my nose ! I saw a fine figure 
of a Bagpiper the other day in a design of Albert 
Durer's, a small figure in background, but exquisitely 

* Size indicated on the sheet. 



312 



Cliarletf %rene 



drawn ; I forget the sub- 
ject, but will find out and 
make a note of it ; you may 
know it. I hope I'm not 
boring you in sending that 
batch of Alnwick etchings, 
but as primitive Art I 
think they are very funny. 
Are you still thinking of 
leaving Eldon Square .' 
'Tis a well-built, warm 
house. You leave winter 
outside when you pass the 
/ door. Beware of the 
Modern Villa ! — modem 
builders are rogues all! — 
see Ruskin, 

" Saturday Morning, 
July \oth, 1880. — I'm 
thinking I've bored you 
enough with my disjointed 
ramblings, but I shall send 
this oft' to-day anyhow. I 
daren't read what I've writ* 
ten, and only hope I shall 
not repeat myself. I had 
two or three days with 
Harry Foster, at Witley. 
How do you like him ? 
We all think him a very jolly youngster. He talks 
of getting up a lawn tennis ground somewhere in 




A NORTH BRITON. 



8Ln 0natomfcal 3|nfant 313 

m ■ 

Newcastle. You should go in for this pastime ; good 
for liver, I should think. It suits me. I like a game 
that stretches the muscles thoroughly, or else one of 
utter physical quiet, such as chess. A dawdling sort 
of game sends me to sleep. Billiards makes me 
yawn — but I forgot you are a fisherman. That's a 
different thing. My Irish angler says he is always 
in a tremble with excitement the first day he has in 
the year. He is married now, and says his fishing is 
a good deal stopped ! They were in great trouble 
about the first baby. It could not take milk, and 
was a poor emaciated little bantling ; but I consoled 
him when he told me, and congratulated him on the 
chance he had got — that there was no drawing at all 
in the ordinary fat maggot of a babby, but here was 
an artist blessed with a nice anatomical bony infant, 
such as Albert Durer and the early German masters 
drew frorii, and gave such character to their Holy 
Families. I believe he took the hint, as I've heard 
he has made no end of nude studies from it ; and only 
just in time, as they say it is fattening. Stevenson is 
building at his castle in Argyleshire. He asked me to 
go there, and I should if I could have been there in 
June or J uly, but I don't care to go later ; and then they 
have other visitors, so I shall put it off till next year. 
I should like to be in Scotland when it is nearly day- 
light at midnight. My friend Macdonald wants me 
to go to Aberdeen, but I shall wait till next year for 
the same reason. On reconsidering, I w^on't bore 
you with those prints yet; will wait for a quieter 
time. If you are not very busy you ought to be 



314 Cl^arle? lieene 



taking your diversion in a holiday, and I think you 
should for your health. I'm much obliged to you 
for sending an invitation to Miss Hooper ; I hope 
she'll send you something respectable. She has a 

friend, a Miss M , who promises to be a rattling^ 

fine animal paintress, devilish pretty girl too ; her 
work is perhaps a little too strong and manly. She 
beats her brother, a fine- looking fellow about 6ft. jin., 
who paints little landskapes — (used to be spelled 
with a ' k* I think, so we'll leave it!). I met a lady 
the other evening, an artist (!), who had never heard 
of Bewick ! I asked her if she knew Boyce, the 
painter. She said she did, so I told her to ask him 
who he was. Don't trouble to answer this if you 
are taking holiday, which I hope you are ; and with 
kindest regards to Mrs. Crawhall, and the boys and 
girls, I am, 

** Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

The following month Mr. Crawhall published 
" Border Notes, and Mixty-Maxty," and dedicated 

it quaintly 

"To Charles S. Keene, 

This loth of August, 1880, 

Greeting, 

These." 

In May, 1881, Keene's mother died, at the ad- 
vanced age of eighty-three. To her, to whom he owed 
so much, he had been a devoted son, and for him 
she had always the very deepest affection. " I'm still 



9Deatt) of t)f0 9^ot]^er 315 

busy," he writes to Mr. Stewart, in 1880, '* but hope 
to be able to get down on Thursday if my mother 
keeps well, but she has been ailing lately, and she 
says she sleeps better when Tm at home, so I don't 
like to be away for long." In April, 1881, he wrote 
to Mrs. Edwards : "My poor old mother is on her 
death-bed. They say she has no specific disease, 
and so does not suffer so much, but enough to make 
it a hard trial for her and for us. Her look, and 
the tones of her voice, * go to the marrow of my 
bones,' and knock me over very much. We watch 
by her day and night, and shall to the end — my 
brother and I." 

And to Mr. Stewart, April 28 : " The grand 
* Sparrow ' lineaments come out in her features as 
death approaches, and the tones of her voice go to 
the * marrow of my bones.' Excuse all this." 

To Alexander Afacdonald, Esq. 

** 82, Hammersmith Road, 

''May6t/i, '8i. 

" Dear Macdonald, 

" I went to town yesterday morning and called 
at No. 85, Jermyn Street, but found you had gone ; 
but I should have been a * sorry visitor.' My poor 
mothers condition for two or three days has been 
distressing to us — alive, that is all. I took my watch 
this morning as usual from 12 to 5 a.m., and after 
getting a little sleep I was called up again. I could 
not feel her pulse ; she drew a few breaths calmly ; 
another — she was gone ! I can't write any more 



3i6 Ct)arle£( lieene 



just now, but my heart is lighter now she is released 
from her pain. 

** Thanks for your and Mrs. Macdonald's kind 
sympathy. 

** Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

To Alexander Macdonald, Esq, 

"82, Hammersmith Road, 

''Sth/une, 1881. 

** Dear Macdonald, 

" I had a run into Suffolk last week, and I still 
have the hope of getting a short holiday and running 
up to see you. 

" I ought to have answered Mrs. Macdonald's 
kind letter, but it is difificult to write in heavy spirits, 
and since my poor mother's death I find I have to 
undertake affairs and responsibilities I have not been 
used to. 

" I was staying in Suffolk with a bookish old 
scholar (Fitzgerald), one of the old school — friend 
of Carlyle's and Tennyson and Thackeray, and we 
talked art and the delles Icttrcs all day in his garden, 
and smoked long churchwarden pipes in the evening. 

** I find he is a * great unknown ' poet in certain 
literary circles in town — I mean the Rossetti set — 
and that a certain translation that he made of some 
Persian poems,^ and published anonymously, and 
another book — translations of Calderon's plays — are 
considered by them as the greatest works of the age ! 

^ The " Rubaiyat " of Omar Khdyydm. 



^^e l^elloto diOlaicrtcoat 317 

When I told W. B. Scott, one of this circle, that I 
knew this great genius and had been staying with 
him, he jumped in his chair. 

" I was dining at the Freemason's Tavern the 
other evening (this is not in my line, but it was in- 
evitable), and, as I came out, I heard a pibroch in 
some part of the hotel where a regimental dinner was 
going on. I was entranced, and stood and listened. 
I had dropped the chanter for months, and it has set 
me on again. 

" I won't forget to bring Crawhall's book for you 
to see. If I come by rail I must stay a day at 
Newcastle with him. 

" Kindest regards to Mrs. Macdonald. 

" Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Craw hall, Esq. 

** 239, King's Road, 

" Chelsea. 
\^June 19, 1 881.] 

*' Dear Crawhall, 

" How are you all in Eldon Square ? I ought to 
have congratulated you immediately on hearing the 
news of the festivity in your house. Will you give 
the young people my greetings and good wishes 
the first opportunity ? How did you like putting on 
the * yellow waistcoat.' (Note, a yellow waistcoat 
seems to be the proper costume of the * heavy 
father' on the stage, when he gives his blessing 
at the end of the last act.) We insist on Birket 



3i8 C^arle? lieene 



Foster donning this symbolical article when his 
daughter is married next month. He dreads it 
hugely. 

"It was a time of great heaviness with us all 
when my mother died. She had always been with 
us and was very happy, and the world seemed 
changed without her, but this feeling, I suppose, 
passes away like all other things. I went to stay 
with my old friend Fitzgerald, the old scholar, 
at Woodbridge, Suffolk. I think I've mentioned 
him to you. I showed him * Mixty-Maxty.' He was 
very pleased with it ; one distich stuck to him, and 
he was very fond of it — 

* O'er meadows of kingcups and culverkeys 
Trip it the livelong summer's day,' etc. 

He*s a great admirer of Bewick. We strolled about 
in his garden talking * Shakespeare and the musical 
glasses,* books, etc. I find since Tve been back that 
he is a * great unknown ' genius in some high critical 
circles. I was mentioning my visits to W. B. Scott, 
who is one of the Rossetti, Swinburne, etc., set, and 
of my friend having translated some Persian poems 
and Calderon's plays, etc. He jumped off his chair! 
* Do you know him? Why, Ram Jam' (some won- 
derful Persian name he gave it) * is the most quite 
too exquisite work of the age, and Rossetti considers 

the translations from Calderon the finest thing ,' 

etc., etc. So I shall tell the old man. I don't know 
whether he'll be pleased. W. B. Scott showed me 
his collection of first editions. He must have sunk 



Cl^oHotoiecbt 319 



a good sum in the purchase. I still cannot keep out 
of the book-shops and sales. The last good thing I 
picked up was an edition of 'Clarissa Harlowe' in 
French, in 10 vols. ! with two etchings of Chodo- 
wiecki's in each. I feel terribly tempted to sacrifice 
the book and cut 'em out. Do you know this artist's 
works ? I consider him the most extraordinary 
demon of industry (and very excellent art of its sort) 
I ever knew of. He has to be discovered. Td bet 
that four British R. A.*s out of seven would not know 
his name. I've collected an infinitesimal pinch of 
his handiwork. Scott says there was a great sale of 
a collection a little while ago that he did not 
know of at the time, and they went at very small 
prices. Menzel, the great German artist who is 
being 'discovered' now, is a follower in his track. 
Menzel has been elected an hon. member of the 
O. W. C. Society, and some of his drawings are 
.exhibited there now. I have a book of his that I 
bought twenty odd years ago new for eighteen bob, 
and Duncan, the publisher, says you could not get it 
jiow under fifty pounds ! I imagine the stones must 
ihave been destroyed. I'm trying to get away for a 
fortnight to go and see my friend Macdonald at 
Aberdeen ; have promised every year for five years, 
and have got a little ahead with my work to that 
^nd. I'm thinking of going by steamer ; I hate 
so long a railway journey. If the weather is 
hot it's a delightful trip, but I shall not go unless 
I can get away early in July. If I go and come 
l)ack by rail, and you should be at home, may I 



320 Cijdrle£( lieene 



have a day's rest at Newcastle ? Macdonald goes 
to his office at his granite works, and I stroll about 
the old town, spending a good deal of time at New- 
castle ^ poring over the bookstalls in the market, but 
the Scotch bookstalls are terribly distended with 
fusty Scotch Diveenity ! — not much to be picked up» 
Tm almost afraid to take my pipes with me. When 
I was there before I used to practise a good deal 
in Macdonald's garden, but I have not touched 'em 
for months. Tve been amusing myself lately with 
learning by heart most of the least indecent of the 
old seventeenth and eighteenth century catches; 
very clever and amusing some of them. The com- 
posers don't seem to be very well known, except 
their names. This makes them the more interest- 
ing to me, and IVe formed a sort of idea of many 
of them — Dr. Green, Gregory, Hilton, Crawford, 
Nelham, the great Purcell, etc., etc. M. Nelham 
mostly wrote his in the bass clef; evidently had a 
bass voice, and wrote 'em to sing himself. Green's 
are very good, mostly in a minor key, and amusingly 
melancholy. Have you done anything in the musical 
way lately ? If ever you hear of a copy of the 
* Vocal Magazine,' published at Edinburgh, I think 
(you have a copy, I fancy), I wish you'd pick it up 
for me. I have not heard any news in the Art way 
lately. I very seldom see Lawson, so I don't know 
whether he has sold his picture. He has had an 
addition to his family. How does the Art Society 
get on ? Have they found a secretary to work as 

* Aberdeen. 



Collecting 321 



you did ? I ween not ! You see I still cull from 
the Albums. I enclose the sketch I did for one 
lately; they say the sitting figure is like me. I 
sketched the pose in the looking-glass, and tried to 
disguise the model, but failed, I suppose. You must 
have been on Coquetside since I wrote, or elsewhere 
* by rivers to whose falls,* etc. I shall be glad to 
hear of your adventures. Picked up any more stone 
hatchets, palaeolithic or otherwise ? I found with 
great pleasure the other day that Harry Moore, the 
landscape painter, was a * flint ' man, and had got a 
small collection of scrapers he had picked up himself. 
He came and saw my little store, and I had the 
honour of giving him some. I felt myself quite a 
small * Green well.' Tve fixed the photographic pre- 
sentment you sent me of the Canon in his Barrow 
Book. I met Peter Toft one night at a studio 
smoking party, but he has not been to see me 
yet. I hope you've had good news of the emigrant 
Hugh. I looked up Nebraska, and it seems a 
splendid climate. Let me know if Joe is in town, 
and if he is at the same address. With kindest 
regards to all yours, 

" Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

The following extracts from letters may be read 
with interest, as showing that Keene was by no 
means the recluse that he was by many supposed 
to be. Indeed, had it not been for the conscientious 
determination with which he subordinated every 

Y 



322 Cljarlest lieene 



enjoyment to his work, there is little doubt but 
that inclination would have led him to make many 
visits which his duties forced him to abandon. He 
delighted in the companionship of young people, 
with whom he was a special favourite. Indeed as 
a partner in the mazy waltz, up to the age of sixty, 
he outrivalled many an eligible bachelor of half his 
age. One of his blooming young partners a few 
years ago — so few, indeed, that she can be but 
young still — is said to have been laughed at for her 
partiality, and asked whether she intended to marry 
Mr. Keene. " I would if he would only ask me," she 
replied, and I think she more than half meant what 
she said. 

Of his own waltzing powers, being at the time 
laid up with a bad leg, he wrote with becoming 
modesty in 1876: "I was engaged to spend the 
holiday at Birket Foster's, where they celebrate the 
season with old-fashioned jollity, play-acting, and 
dancing, and I'm a useful hack waltzer (for my age), 
but I'm out of the running this year." And in 1884 
he wrote, being then, it must be remembered, sixty- 
one years of age : ** I was at a dance the other night 
for the first time in my life without * tripping it' 
Everything must have an end !" 

Whether, however, he did give up the pastime 
even then, appears to be doubtful, for he had written, 
seven years before this, to Mr. Crawhall as if of his 
final appearance, and, if he took a further lease from 
senility then, there is no reason why he should not 
have done so yet ai^-ain. 



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It was on January 27, 1877, he had written, '* For 
the fancy ball I'm afraid it's a little too late. I was 
at a hop on the 1 8th — my last ! when, I consider, I 
took leave of the floor as a dancing man, after a good 
innings ; and my last fancy dress, which has long 
been kicked about in my studio, is half-devoured by 
moth ! and past refurbishing, if I were fain to think 
of it." 

To J. M. Stewart y Esq. 

" 239 King's Road, 
" Chelsea, 

" Friday night. 

[Aug, 6, 1 88 1.] 

" Dear Jack, 

" I got back last week from my trip, which I 
enjoyed very much. I went to Aberdeen by steamer 
yys. ! — started on Wednesday night. On Thursday 
morning when I went on deck it was blowing pretty 
fresh, and she was dipping bows under a good deal, 
and to my surprise I was a little qualmish ! — only 
looked at the breakfast — rushed up and had a cat ! — 
but I was all right again by dinner-time ; but it was 
cold, though the weather was fine, and, coming from 
London in that great heat, it was just by chance I 
took a great coat at all ! I had a thinnish one, but 
should have been glad of my thickest pea-jacket. 
There was only one corner of the vessel where you 
could light a pipe for the wind. I reached Aberdeen 
about eight on Thursday morning, and got to Mac- 
donald's before they were up, but there was a good 
roaring fire ! (July 9th). I stayed ten days with him, 



324 Cijarles %eene 




and went back by rail, stopping a week with 
Craw hall. It was a little warmer there, but not 
much. I hope you Ve been all right. I'm writing to 
Mrs. Forster that I will go there, if they can take 
me, next Saturday till Monday. Can't stop away for 
long just now, as my sisters are away, and there is 
no one in the house but me. If I can, I may come 
on the Friday, and will perhaps write to you again. 
Tve had a go in at Cholera since I've been back, 
but am all right again. I'm going to-morrow till 
Monday to Medmenham, to stay in a house- 
boat. I rather dread it, but have shirked going for 
two years, and now can't get out of it. More when I 
see you next week. Give my love to the young ones. 

" And I am. 

'* Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene," 

It was during the above-mentioned visit to 
Kepplestone that Mr. (now Sir) George Reid painted 
Keene for Mr. Macdonald's collection of Artists' 
portraits. 

This was subsequently reproduced in the March 
number of the '* Magazine of Art," 1891, to illustrate 
Mr. Spielmann's article *'In Memoriam."^ 



To Alexa7ider Macdo7iald, Esq. 

'* 239 King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[August 19, 1 881.] 

'* Dear Macdonald, 

'* I ought to have written to you before, but had 

^ FiWe p. 238 above. 



lBetoick'0 %omb 325 



such a batch of letters to answer when I got home. 
I had, besides, a sort of feeling of depression at my 
pleasant holiday being over. I had a kind letter 
from Mrs. Macdonald, with something I left behind. 
I hope she went to the ** Art Work " competition. 

" At Newcastle I found Crawhall busy acknowledg- 
ing cheques for his book. One day we went to 
Warkworth, and I saw the Crystal Coquet, his 
favourite river. Another day we made a pilgrimage 
to Ovingham, to Bewick's tomb. We called on Miss 
Bewick (over ninety) ; she gave me a rare proof of 
one of the old man's woodcuts. 

" I picked up a little prize the other day at a sale 
for a few shillings — a little box of reindeer bones 
and flint knives, from the floor of a cave in the 
Dordogne, France, with a note stuck on the lid 
inside, that they were given to the owner by 
'Christie,' the prehistoric collector, who left his 
museum to the nation. There's a strange romance 
about these things to me! The reindeer in Europe 
means an awful long time ago ! 

"Tell me how the C. K. portrait is liked. I 
suppose you'll see Millais this autumn — I heard he 
had gone to Scotland. 

"So now I send my love to my kind host and 
hostess at Kepplestone, and remembrances to all 
my friends. 

** Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene. 

"Tell Mrs. Macdonald, with my thanks for her 



i 



326 C^acle0 lieene 



kindness, that, with one of my stews and a pot of 
Kepplestone jam and a book, I would*nt change 
dinners with a lord ! " 



To J. M. Stewart y Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

lOct. 2 1881.] 

" Dear Jack, 

'* I got back on Monday. On the previous 
Saturday week went to Fitzgerald's, and on Monday 
we went to visit his friend Crabbe, a parson, grand- 
son of the poet. His parish is in an out-of-yr-way 
part of Norfolk. We had to change five times in 
getting there by rail, and had to wait four hours in 
Norwich. While there we went into a pastry- 
cook's for lunch. There were other people there. 
Presently a man on my right addressed me — knew 
me at Langham School. I knew his face but forget 
his name. He was a friend of Smallfield's. Presently 
another man on my left spoke to me, and asked 
'how Mrs. Edwards was'! I didn't know him at 
all. We got to the parsonage to tea. Another 
visitor joined us on the road, Aldis Wright, a Fellow 
of Cambridge and friend of Fitzgerald, one of the 
Shakespeare commentators and a philologist. Crabbe 
is a very nice fellow, about fifty, a widower, living 
with his daughter. The country is pretty, all oak- 
trees and woods, with an Elizabethan Hall close by. 
Lord Walsingham's, which I saw. The cottages 
about are all either thatched or red tiles, so that was 




(CDtoarb jpft^geralb 327 

pleasant. The parson and Wright used to retire 
about 10 p.m., but Fitzgerald and I sat and smoked 
in the greenhouse for a couple of hours more. He 
is a capital companion. His talk is of books and 
poetry. He's a great scholar; a slashing critic about 
pictures — his taste is for the old masters; and he 
knew all the literary men about town in Thackeray's 
early time. In look and * build ' he s just such a man 
as * Old Silver'; you remember him. I'm sometimes 
nearly addressing him ' Old 'un,' as we did Old 
Silver. We came back to Woodbridge on Thursday, 
and on Monday I had a few hours at Ipswich and 
came home at night. Saw Jack. His daughter's 
to be married next month. They made me promise 
to go. Poor Harry has two children ill with rheu- 
matism, the eldest boy and girl. I hope you've been 
better. I saw Myles on Wednesday ; he says 
B. F. is still at Bettys. 

" Remember me to the children and all at Witley. 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

To Alexander Macdonald^ Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

"6 October, 1881. 

" Dear Macdonald, 

** The Almanack hard work is beginning, so 
if you've any good sporting or fishing stories by 
you think of me. I had a difficult letter to write 
yesterday. Menzel, the great German artist, sent 



i 



328 C^arle0 l&eene 



me a couple of photos from pictures of his. I've 
known and admired his work all my life, and set 
him up as the great master in Europe, so I was 
embarrassed in thanking him. I forget if you know 
of his work. He drew a good deal on wood, and 
I know him mostly from engravings. Tm sending 
him a few scraps of sketches with great trepidation, 
lest he should not see anything in them and think 
me conceited. 

*' Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

This year Messrs. Bradbury and Agnew pub- 
lished a collection of 400 of Keene's ** Punch" 
drawings in a volume called ** Our People." ' This 
marvellous collection of pictures is obtainable now 
in the market, and is within reach of the pockets of 
any one who has a few shillings to invest in an 
inexhaustible mine of elevating enjoyment. It is a 
volume which no true lover of Art can afford to be 
without. 



To Aiidrezo W, Tuer, Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

" Dear Tuer, 

" Many thanks for your kind present of the 
bonny ' Cries.' I have not had time to read it yet, 
but it's an interesting subject. There was one * cry ' 

* By a curious mistake one of Mr. Corbould's pictures was 
inserted on page 131, entitled *' Compliments of the Season." 



9^f00 3nffeloto'0 i^oted 329 

I remember when a boy ( I see it is in your book) — 
* Four bunches a penny, sweet lavender/ in a beauti- 
ful musical phrase. I have seen it noted, but did 
not take a copy. I've often thought of writing to 
' Notes and Q.' if any musician of the period can 
remember it. 

" I see the * Chaplets * ^ everywhere. I was very 
pleased with Crawhall's presentation copy, but I 
intended to have it. Don't forget that I subscribe 
for an early copy of ' Olde Freends ' when it comes 
out. 

** I have drawn your story of the * Serving Maid 
and the Parson ' — * Etiquette.' 

" I fancy Crawhall told me of a further selection 
of old ballads. Note that one, * Ragged and torn 
and true,' in the Roxburgh collection ; a capital one 
for him to illustrate. 

" Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

The following recollections of Keene, kindly sup- 
plied to me by Miss Jean Ingelow, will be read with 
interest : — 

" You have asked for any personal recollections 
I may have of the late Charles Keene. His chief 
intimacies, however, in our family were with my 
brothers, not with me. That he was a most original 
character, as well as a delightful companion, no one 
who knew him could doubt, but, when he made his 
appearance to have a chat or a smoke and play at 

* " Chap-Book Chaplets," by Joseph Crawhall. 



i 



330 C^arle0 %eene 



billiards with my brothers, it was generally so late 
that I was about to retire for the night. 

*' On such occasions, knowing that he had ap- 
peared, I used to come in for a few minutes, and I 
have no more vivid recollection of him than when, 
standing in his well-worn travelling costume, he 
would loose the knapsack from his shoulders and 
relate some anecdote which he had brought from the 
Eastern Counties and was illustrating for * Punch/ 
Suffolk was always his favourite hunting-ground, 
and his command of the dialect was not unnaturally 
perfect, for he was of an Ipswich family. When his 
face was in repose his features were fine, and his air 
was full of careless ease ; but, if he woke up and 
began to tell of some countrified ' yokel ' whom he 
had met with, his black eyes would blaze and his 
whole face would assume the very look and expres- 
sion he had caught from the life and nature of the 
countryman whom he was imitating. 

" That he cared very little for appearance is true, 
but stories used to go about concerning him which 
were pure invention. I have been told by people 
who professed to know him that he would not go out 
to dinner-parties because he would not be at the 
trouble of wearing evening dress, and, in fact, never 
had any ; yet I can testify that for many years he 
was in the habit of dining with us by invitation, and 
then he was always arrayed like any other English- 
man of the period. 

'• On such occasions he appeared ver>^ unconscious 
of himself, but showed an artist's pleasure and quick- 



9^100 JngelotD's i|5ote0 331 



ness in noticing the features and humours of those 
about him. His own appearance was fine and 
distinguished ; and I must be forgiven for having 
noticed all this particularly, as well as the impres- 
sion he made, for the manner in which he used to 
array himself by habit and choice when he was going 
about his business was by no means so becoming 
to him. 

*' You ask if we have any letters of Charles 
Keene's. The intimate friend in our family through 
whom all the others knew him was my eldest brother 
George ; they lived in the same house for more 
than two years when, as very young men, they both 
came to London. Then my brother went to India 
and they corresponded, and the letters were copiously 
illustrated on both sides. I have seen some of these 
letters. Mr. Keene showed us some of my brother's, 
and got him to let some of the drawings in them be 
put into the * Illustrated London News/ 

** I think Charles Keene's letters must still be in 
existence, though afterwards my brother went to 
Singapore, and then to Sydney. This much-loved 
brother died many years ago, but I have written to 
my nephew, his eldest son, to make inquiries, and if 
this correspondence is preserved and in his keeping 
it shall be sent to you.^ 

" He was always friendly and good-natured, and 
at one time, when one of my sisters began to learn 
wood-engraving, he used to give her hints and help ; 

^ Miss Ingelow writes later that she fears the letters have not 
been saved. 



332 C|)arled l&eene 



then, as she got on, he drew more than a dozen 
drawings for her on the block. These, which she cut 
out and treasures still, are full of his peculiar style. 
Some of them, she thinks, are none the better for 
having been rendered by her 'prentice hand, but 
others are quite as good as the usual illustrations 
of books, and he encouraged her to think she 
would be a proficient in the art ; but the usual thing 
followed — she married, and never did one engraving 
afterwards. I expect to hear something definite of 
the correspondence with my brother in a few days, 
and will write again. 

" I am, 

'* Yours very truly, 

**Jean Ingelow.'* 

Of Keene*s appearance in the later years of his 
life Mr. Mills also writes : " In person he was tall and 
upright, with a singularly noble head and counten- 
ance, resembling a handsome (ideal) Don Quixote. 
He rarely wore a black coat, his clothes (of which 
he always had several suits) being made of Cheviot 
or other coloured material. I don't think I ever saw 
him in a silk hat — always a * billycock ' or ' wide- 
awake.' Very particular about his boots, which he 
had from a first-rate West-end maker. He often 
carried a bag slung over his shoulders with a leathern 
strap. He never carried an umbrella however in- 
clement the weather might be, often getting wet 
through two or three times a day." 

" One who knew^ him," writing in the ** Pall Mall 



appearance 333 



Gazette/' said : *' He was a fine, picturesque figure, 
singularly like Don Quixote in form and feature, 
with his spareness of build, his moustache and 
pointed beard, and his parchmenty skin." 

He had a somewhat swaggering gait, the con- 
sequence, I am told, of an injury to one of his legs in 
early years. *' I do likes to see Mr. Keene out o* 
doors," said a servant maid, referring, no doubt, to 
this peculiarity ; ** he do walk just like a lord." 

Of the portrait given in this chapter he wrote to 
Mr. Crawhall : ** Did Alec Stevenson send you a 
photo he took of me when I was up at Oban ? It is 
very good considering it was late in the day and not 
very light. I was out of sorts with liver at the time, 
which I think the face shows." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

\June 9, 1882.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I hope this may find you at Warkworth, resting 
at your ease and inhaling the fresh summer air, but 
not wading for trout like a youngster. By-the-by, 
I've stepped suddenly into age ! Having put it off 
for years, and lately having been much badgered by 
friends, especially Macdonald, I've given in and been 
to a dentist, a gigantic Scot, Hepburn * hight.' To 
shorten a long story, he comfortably suffocated me 
for about a minute, and when I came to I found 



334 Cfiarles Iferene 



myself without a tusk in my jaws. About nine or 
ten there were, I believe, and some, he said, were 
taut ones ! It was a match against time, and he had 
won ! 

*' I was pretty miserable that day, and did not 
properly dine ! It was an extraordinary experience, 
but it puts me in the background for six weeks at 
least. They say I shall get used to it. I must try 
and see Tuer, though ; there's a good long twilight 
at this time of year, and I'll try and interview him in 
the gloamin' ! So, you see, I don't think I shall be 
able to come northwards yet awhile, much as I should 
like to accept your kind invitation and lounge about 
old Warkworth with you. I had a very pleasant 
week just before this dental business with my old 
friend Fitzgerald in Suffolk. I think I've told you 
of him — an old bookish scholar, friend of Tennyson's 
and Thackeray's in the old days, and of Tom Car- 
lyle s, the Diogenes of Chelsea. You should know 
old Fitz.'s translation of Omar Kyam's (sic) poem. 
He was a Persian agnostic poet and tent-maker in 
one of the early centuries. We talked of books and 
poetry and music till deep in the night. He knows 
you from me, and is much interested in your idea of 
a ballad opera. He believes it might be well done 
with W. Scott's ' Pirate,' and I've persuaded him to 
draw up his plot, which he seems to have concocted. 
Two acts; only one girl, Minna or Brenda ; the 
witch, a contralto ; the men, a tenor and bass, and 
the pirates (chorus) not to appear till second act. 
The scenery would be good too. This is what I 



(EDtoatb fftjeecalD 



remember of his talk of it, but will send you his 
sketch, which he promises. I will send you also a 
beautiful letter from a Turkish cadi that I copied 




L CRYING CHILD. 



from his commonplace book, which ought to be 
illuminated in gold. He calls this scrap-book ' Half- 
hour^ with the Worst Authors'! He wished me to 
ask you about an angling book which old Carlyle 



336 Cljarlea Ifeeene 



used to speak of to him and praise (!). It is either 
'John Kelso Hunters Autobiography' or else John 
Hunter of Kelso. I fancy the latter is most likely. 
Do you know of the book? I have lately had a 
book given me which I think I must send to 
Waters — * Philip de Comines/ i6 — . It is rather 
dilapidated ; no title page. I should leave it to him 
to restore, if he could, or rebind, but not to cut. 
Some leaves at end to mend. Hay don wants me 
to go down with him to his chalk stream at Whit- 
church in Hampshire. He has a fishing cottage 
there, an hour and half from London and a mile and 
a half walk ; but Tm afraid just now — obliged to live 
on spoon meat ! 

** I saw Stephenson when he was in town, about 
three weeks ago. He was busy about his Swan 
lights. Tm afraid the lawyers will get a lot of 
money from these companies before they are settled. 
He wanted me to go with them to their Highland 
castle. I had the story of the poor stag. The baby 
grows apace and pretty. What is Joe doing, — has 
he sold? and has Hugh got his feet hard again? 
Tm still a little lame, — fancy I jarred my foot dropping 
off busses while on the move, — am painting my foot 
with iodine. 

" Heseltine bought most of my drawings at Stewart's 
sale. I have not been to the Academy yet, or the 
Grosvenor. I hope my new jaw won't stand in the 
way of my pipes. Have been solacing myself in 
these days of Irish sedition and sneaking murder by 
learning 'The Boyne Water.* 



BoofejS 337 

" Give my love to all yours, and have more to say, 
so will write again anon. 

** I am, ever yours, 

"Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

** 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

[June 24, 1882.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I hope youll be refreshed and set up by the 
change to Coquet and the seaside and rest. Oh, 
how I should like some medicine of that sort ! I 
saw Tuer one day. He told me he was in correspon- 
dence with you about the book. If you don't bring 
it out yourself, I think you could not have it in 
better hands. I fancy he's a sharp man of business, 
and will work it well, as he has a good * connection ' 
and has some taste. I've a strong idea for a book 
for you to take up next. I mean the book of Nor- 
thumberland tunes that the Antiquarian Society 
contemplate. This is just suited for your head- and 
tail-pieces and decoration. It might make the ordi- 
nary edition too expensive, but could you not arrange 
to bring out an edition de luxe, illustrated by J. C. ? 
Take care not to let the local limners hear of the 
" Pie." The names of the tunes seem to me so 
suggestive of illustration. Landscape, figures, still 
life, etc., etc. N.B. — Work away at sketching 
localities with this view. When I say, 'edition de 
luxel I hate the thing and the name. I mean a 

z 



338 evades lieene 



comparatively limited issue, but not in gorgeous, 
expensive binding. Boards for choice, but decorated. 
Tm certain the proper device for the cover of the 
book would be a drawing of a set of small pipes in 
the style of those Scotch ones in * Mixty-Maxty,' just 
in the middle of the title. This might be common 
to both editions, the big and the small. By-the-by, 
make it a sine qua non that if ' Come you from New- 
castle ? ' be not the title of this last book (Tuer s), 
it be put in the title-page as a motto, — it is so pretty 
and apt. 

** When I was at Fitzgerald's I copied the enclosed 
letter from his scrap-book. He forgets where he 
copied it from. I think it's beautiful, and it's as 
good as any sermon you will hear in Warkworth to- 
morrow. I think I shall write it some day in black 
letter, with an illuminated initial ! 

** It's very sad, the death of poor C. Lawson, but 
when I first knew him he had the red spot on his cheek 
which suggested his doom. I shall be glad to hear 
what you think of my suggestion about the music- 
book. I've not yet been fitted with the Carkerian 
contrivance ! What a miserable dog I shall be, till I 
get used to 'em. You did not tell me if you knew 
of that angling book, * John Kelso Hunter,' or * John 
Hunter of Kelso' — I'm curious to know the book 
that Carlyle praised. 

** Love to all with you. 

** More anon. 

** Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene. 



a Curbi0^ Ca&t 339 



" Letter from a Turkish Cadi to a travelling 
Englishman, (a friend of Layard's), who wrote to him 
for information as to the commerce, population, and 
antiquities of his town. 

" ' My Illustrious Friend and Joy of my Liver, 

" ' The thing you ask of me is both difficult and 
useless. Although I have passed all my days in 
this place, I have neither counted the houses nor 
have I inquired into the number of the inhabitants, 
and as to what one person loads on his mules, and the 
other stows away in the bottom of his ships, that is no 
business of mine. But above all, as to the previous 
history of this city. God only knows the amount of 
dirt and confusion the infidels may have eaten before 
the coming of the sword of Islam. It were unprofit- 
able for us to inquire into it. Oh my soul ! oh my 
lamb ! seek not after things that concern thee not ! 
Thou camest unto us and we welcomed thee ! Go 
in peace. Of a truth thou hast spoken many words. 
There is no harm done, for the speaker is one, and 
the listener another. After the fashion of thy people, 
thou hast wandered from one place to another until 
thou art happy and content in none. We (praise to 
God) were born here and never desire to quit it. 
Is it possible that the idea of a general communica- 
tion between mankind should make any impression 
on our understandings? God forbid ! Listen, oh my 
son, there is no wisdom equal to belief in God ! He 
created the world, and shall we liken ourselves unto 
him in seeking to penetrate into the mysteries 



340 Cliarlesf lieene 



of His creation ? Shall we say, Behold this star 
spinneth round that star ! and this other star with a 
tail goeth and cometh in so many years ! — Let it go f 
He from whose hand it came will guide and direct 
it ! But thou wilt say, Stand aside, oh man, for I am 
more learned than thou art, and have seen more 
things. If thou thinkest that thou art in this respect 
better than I am, thou art welcome. I praise God 
that I seek not that which I require not ; thou art 
learned in things I care not for, and as for that which 
thou hast seen, I defile it! Will much knowledge 
make thee a double belly, or wilt thou see Paradise 
with thine eye ? Oh my friend, if thou wilt be 
happy, say. There is no God but God. Do no evil, 
and thus thou wilt fear neither man nor death, for 
surely thine hour will come. 
** ' The meek in spirit, 

** ' El Fakir Imaum Ali Zade.' " 



To Joseph Crawkally Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[Ocioberi2, 1882.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" Tm frightened at the turn the affair has taken 
that you tell me of this morning, principally lest you 
should be disappointed at my hanging fire in a matter 
that you had in any way at heart — I hope you have 
not very much in this case. Next, I've such a dread 
of * stepping out' before the public, that this suggest- 
tion of Tuer's of the letter (to be facsimiled !) thrills 



Heme 341 

me with horror! This feeling, I must suppose, is 
morbid, but I can't help it. My idea was, in case you 
carried out another book, to slip in a drawing * sub 

• 

rosd,* and quite entre nous, and without any thought 
of glorification ; and don't you think this would be 
better after all, in your next book — ' Illustrations 
by J. C, assisted by J. C. Junior, Guthrie, C. K., 
etc. etc/ ? or, better still, * by friends,' with only 
the initials to the drawings to show whose they were, 
if that even should be necessary. I shall see Tuer 
to-morrow, and if he mentions it to me I shall tell him 
my scruples as forcibly as I can. This present book 
is so entirely your own, that anybody else's work 
would not mix well. I'm much obliged to you for the 
Northumberland music ; it seems a very pretty book. 
I suppose I must apply to the * Secretary of the 
Society of Antiquaries, The Castle, Newcastle-on- 
Tyne,' to send me two copies, for which I will send 
a P.O. order by return. The price is not mentioned 
in the book. I want the copies to give away. One 
to my friend old Fitzgerald, who will be interested in 
the songs. Some of them are very pretty. He tells 
me he has schemed out the plot of an English opera 
from Scott's ' Pirate.' 

** I return Tuer* s letter in case you may want it. I 
shall be glad to hear you take a lenient view of my 
scruples about the drawing, 

" And am, 

*' Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 



i 



CHAPTER XI. 

1883— 1886. 

Artistic approbation. — Bewick. — Haydon. — Whistler. — Menzel. 
— Verestschagen. — Fantin. — Millais. — Letter, April 13, 1883. — 
Letter, July 14, 1883. — Letter, October 6, 1883, — Keene and his 
editors. — A " Punch " picture rejected. — Golf. — Mr. HarniL— 
First symptoms of illness. — Charge of penuriousDess. — His gene- 
rosity. — The Southwold ferryman. — Mr. G. H. Haydon. — Fru- 
gality.— " Robert." — Letter, Augusts, 1884, — Letter, February 10, 
1886. — Letter, February 27, 1886. — Letter, April 4, 1886. — LeUer, 
April 9, 1886.— Letter, April 25, 1886.— Keene and the Royal 
Academy. — Mrs. Langtry. — At the R.A. dinner. — " Mr. Punch " 
has 10 explain a joke. — Mr. John Clayton and the 'bus conductor. — 
" What's the good o' the W ? " — Too good a joke for the public 
— "Philological." — "To Everybody." — "Punch" offers a prize. 
— Keene explains 10 Mr, Tuer. — Mr. Tuer suggests an amendment. 
— " Punch " brazens it out. 

YiS^AS ha.s been pointed out above, Keene 
deprecated the discussion of his own 
artistic performances, and cared not 
much to discuss the work of others. 
We find him, however, from time to time expressing 
the heartiest and most generous appreciation of, and 
adiniration for, certain of his contemporaries, as well , 
as for some few of dead and gone generations. We 
have seen how justly he valued Chodowiecki. For 




£Ipprectation0 343 



Holbein and Hogarth too, as from the quality of his 
work we should naturally expect, we find him evincing 
an enthusiastic approbation ; and Bewick he not only 
acknowledged as the great master of wood-engraving, 
but maintained that he was rather a great artist 
" hampered by an ungrateful material." Of individual 
pictures, he held '* The Raising of Lazarus," by the 
unfortunate Benjamin Robert Haydon, belonging to 
the National Gallery, but now on loan at Plymouth, 
to be of outstanding merit. 

Of his contemporaries, whose worth he was not slow 
to recognize and acknowledge, Whistler, in his heart 
of hearts, he seems to have admired above all others, 
with the exception perhaps of the great German, 
Menzel, of whom we have already spoken. Writing 
to Mr. Stewart on November 24, 1878, he says: 
" Whistler s case against Ruskin comes off, I believe, 
on Monday. He wants to ' subpoena ' me as a witness 
as to whether he is (as Ruskin says) an impostor or 
not. I told him I should be glad to record my 
opinion, but begged him to do without me if he could. 
They say it will most likely be settled on the point of 
law, without going into evidence ; but, if the evidence 
is adduced, it will be the greatest ' lark ' that has been 
known for a long time in the courts." Of his pastels 
he writes on another (undated) occasion : ** IVe just 
been to see Whistler s sketches in pastel ; they are 
very beautiful ; tell B. F. to go and see them. They 
are so pretty in colour, the etchings look ugly 
beside them." Again, in May, 1884: ** I went to 
Whistlers private view the other day — exhibition 



i 



344 C^arUfi^ lirene 



of his late work — arrangement in flesh colour and 
grey this time — small water-colours and oil sketches — 
gems all." 

Of Verestschagen we find him writing to Mr. 
Crawhall, November 5, 1887 : " IVe been to see this 
Russian painter Verestschagen s pictures : they are 
very strong and dramatic, and nothing so very terrible 
and shocking as they gush about. War is roughish 
work ! — and he might have pictured it much worse. 
His fancy subjects I don*t care for, but his pictures 
of what he saw in the field are very striking, and a 
lot of portrait heads of * Haythens and Turks' are 
very good — strong, coarse sort of painting." And 
again to Mr. Barnes: ** If you come to town you 
should go and see this Russian Verestschagen*s 
pictures — very powerful and dramatic ; and that's all 
rubbish that the Art critics have been gushing about, 
of their being so terrible for their sensitive nerves. 
There's one fine situation of the Czar and his staff on 
the brow of a hill looking through their lorgnettes at 
some battle raging below, he sitting on a camp-stool. 
The artist told Sir F. Burton that he got into disgrace 
with the staff for this picture. You can fancy this ; 
the Philistine soldier likes to be figured ' in the van 
of the fight ' ! * in the deadly breach ' ! " 

Of M. Fantin too, the great flower painter, he 
wrote in October, 1864, to Mr. Edwards: **That 
was, as you say, a splendid work of art of Fantin s I 
saw in your dining-room. He ought to get goodly 
* largesse' for such things. I was wholly * stunned' 
at it." And to Mr. Barnes : *' I congratulate you on 




&pniptom0 345 



your new 'Fantin/ He'll be appreciated better 
some day.'* 

And last, but not least, of Sir John Millais he 
wrote on March 20, 1886: ** I went to see the 
Millais Exhibition, a marvellous display, and he 
deserves all his riches and honours." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[^/r/7i3, 1883.] 

•* Dear Crawhall, 

** I have not heard of you for a long time, and 
hope you are in good case. I suppose you are hard 
at work about something. I have not seen Tuer, so 
hear no news about the book, or when it's coming 
out. I ought to be very much in the * dumps,' but, 
curiously, I'm not; yet, four weeks ago, walking home, 
I felt what I thought was * heart-burn,' a pain in my 
chest that made me roar again. I thought it was 
indigestion, but I've had it ever since — that is, when 
I've walked about 500 yards it begins. Otherwise 
I'm quite well ; but I doubt my boiler is getting 
faulty, and that my walking days are over. A great 
bore for me ! My doctor is out of town, so I've not 
had my doubt resolved yet, but I'm going to see 
him to-night ; but I can't complain or feel surprised, 
as I've had good health all my life. I thought you'd 
be pleased with that Catch. With you, I knew it 
again when I fell in with it, but I can't remember 
where I've seen it quoted. Here is the Academy 



346 Cl)arle0 lieene 



come round again. The only pictures I've seen are 
Marks', Colin Hunter's, and Seymour Lucas's, but I 
hear of wonderful works. I've had a letter (very 
flattering) from old Menzel, of Berlin. He sent me 
a lot of proofs and impressions of his designs for 
wood, photos of his pictures and drawings, and half- 
a-dozen sketches from his hand. I should like you 
to see them. You will have seen how indebted I've 
been to the Albums lately. That one of the Scotch 
wife who wanted the calomel for the puir fatherless 
bairn, I had done myself before in * Punch ' ! but did 
not recollect it, and only heard of it in a letter from 
a settler in South Australia, who sent me the cut 
No. I. In the former case it was an Irishman. 

''Saturday, \^th, — I've seen my doctor, and he 
seems to think my ailment is only dyspepsia — at 
least he's scouring me out as much as he can. He 
stethoscoped me and tapped me all over. If it is 
indigestion and liver, as he says, I shall be very 
much surprised, as until I took these 'purgers' I 
felt very well. I fancy I begin to walk a little 
better. IVe heard you complain of * liver,' so now 
we're in the same boat. I ought to have been 
down in Surrey last night to hear the nightingales 
come. Birket Foster has gone to Spain, Tangier, 
etc., for six weeks. My friend Macdonald, of Aber- 
deen, has been invited again to the R.A. dinner, 
and I expect will come all the way on purpose — 
more than I would ! I hope Joe has sent to the 
Academy, though there's rather a terrible trio of 
hangers this year. 



^am SQlork 347 



"With kind regards to Mrs. Crawhall and all 
yours, 

** I am, ever yours, 

" Charles S. Keene.** 



To Alexander Macdonaldy Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[July 14, 1883.] 

'* Dear Macdonald, 

** Bear with me when I tell you I don't think I 
can get to Aberdeen next week ; I *m very sorry ; I 
have an intense wish to come, but I should have 
to go to the * Punch ' people and say, for the first 
time (nearly thirty years) since Tve worked for them, 
that C. K. * gives out * ! and that, for the next week's, 
say, his ' tale ' will not be forthcoming. I don't like 
'breaking the spell,' but I know I want a holiday, 
and now cannot get a real one whilst I have two 
subjects a week, and am thinking of submitting some 
arrangement to the prop*, that I should only do one. 
This might enable me to get ahead, and so have a 
chance of some relaxation. 

** There are other reasons too. I should certainly 
like to be a little better when I get away ; but Tm 
getting better, can breast a hill better ; never smoke 
till the evening ; but it's rather a bore getting old 
and obliged to be careful. 

"Thank Mrs. Macdonald for her capital story. 

'' Yours ever, 

'' Charles S. Keene/' 



3SO CiiarUfiJ lieeiie 



I was afraid we should not get that portrait by Good 
here. Of course the Newcastlers would like to keep 
it, but I should like it in the National Gallery — it s 
such a good specimen of portrait-painting. I hope 
you got ultimately the box of tools, etc., that the Old 
Ladies gave you, and then wanted back again. 

" It's too bad of me to keep your Albums so long, 
but may I keep them till the present Almanack is 

done ? I hope H F has got a good wife. 

I heard of him when I was at Witley. There's 
another Benedict in the family just now. His 
uncle, John Foster (about 70!), is marrying again! 
I hope your young couples are flourishing and happy, 
and that Hugh is doing well in the Far West. 

** Another instance Tve just thought of, of the 
exquisite delicacy of our Editor. F. Faed wrote 
me he had met an American angler in Scotland, of 
whom he inquired one day what sport he had had. 
His answer was, 'Guess, sir, I've been bumming 
around all day with a twenty-five dollar pole, slinging 
fourteen-cent bugs at the end of it, and haven t 
caught a darned fish.' The only humour and 
reason for the cut was the peculiar Yankee phrase- 
ology, and you recollect how he improved it ! With 
kindest regards to Mrs. Crawhall, 

" I am, yours ever, 

*' Charles S. Keene." 

It must, I think, be admitted that Keene was 
somewhat hard upon his editors in this and other 
instances. Where his legends, the main humour of 





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(EDftOM 351 



which depended upon the local dialect, were cut 
about and edited so as to make nonsense, he had 
reasonable cause for complaint ; but, when the ques- 
tion was as to the advisability of inserting a subject 
which might offend the susceptibilities of readers, he 
surely should have recognized that an editor must 
bow to what at all events he believes to be public 
opinion. It was not fair to put down to personal 
squeamishness what was prompted by the regard 
which the conductor of a widely-read journal is 
bound to have for the prejudices, and may be narrow- 
nesses, of the public for whom he caters. For example, 
there was the picture of a Disconsolate (?) Widow, 
who says to her friend, " But why should I grieve ? 
I know where he spends his nights now"; which 
subject the editor thought, probably, not acceptable 
to the readers of ** Punch." Of this, Keene wrote to 
Mr. Crawhall : ** I send you a sketch I made for one 
of your subjects, but our Philistine Editor would 
not have it; said it would *jar upon feelings* !*' But 
I, for one, am inclined to think that *'our Philis- 
tine Editor" was about right here. Many, in fact I 
think the majority of people, would be inclined to 
think him not over scrupulous in objecting to the 
sentiment contained in the legend. The picture is 
good, and it must have been difficult to have brought 
himself to its rejection. By Mr. Crawhall s kind per- 
mission it is here reproduced. 

The last letter quoted makes mention of Keene's 
becoming a member of the Felixstowe Golf Club. 
At this most exasperating and yet fascinating game 



352 Cfiarled lleene 



he would seem never to have attained proficiency. 
Indeed, how could he hope to who has not been 
born with a ** clique " in his hand ? It is almost an 
insult to the royal and ancient game to take it up 
** in the sere and yellow leaf/' 

Of Keene and this pastime Mr. Harral writes : 
** C. K. was not a golfer, although he was a member 
of a golf club, and was delighted when he could get 
away from town to run down to the beautiful links at 
Felixstowe, where he would amuse himself the whole 
morning practising the game, laughing quietly at his 
failures, and most conscientiously keeping his score, 
the inside of an oyster-shell serving him as a note- 
book. During the game his sketch-book would 
frequently be produced, and some figure or bit of 
landscape be jotted down, the little Dutch-looking 
village of Bawdsey Ferry having great attraction for 
him. C. K. never used *the great big D/ proof 
positive that he was no golfer.'* 

As will have been discovered from the last few 
letters, Keene was now beginning for the first time 
in his life to suffer from the dyspeptic symptoms 
which were finally to culminate in the acute suffer- 
ings which he endured throughout the last two years 
of his life. 

In 1884 he writes: " I'm pegging away, but I 
find myself a ' barren rascal ' with only one subject 
a week to do, and wonder how it was that formerly 
I could accomplish two ! " The fact was, that his 
liver was beginning to punish him for over-smoking, 
the only habit approaching a vice which this cfuva- 




(Benero0itp 3S3 



lier sans reproche ever seems to have contracted. 
True, there are those who say that he was penurious, 
but we must remember that man judgeth by the 
outward appearance, and that Keene was not one 
who carried his heart upon his sleeve. It is a fact 
that when young and not overburdened with money 
he had contracted habits of frugality, and, frugality 
suiting him, he did not see why he should alter his 
usages when he grew older. Change and fashion, for 
fashion's sake, were in every way abhorrent to him, 
and people jumped to the conclusion that, because 
his clothes, for example, were always alike, they were 
never new. As a matter of fact he was certainly 
rather extravagant than otherwise in his sartorial 
expenditure. This, however, is a small matter, and 
alone would be but a poor answer to the charge of 
miserliness ; but fortunately there is much more to 
be said upon this head. Indeed, for anyone whose 
nerves are not strong enough to encounter fierce 
indignation and vehement contradiction, it were best 
to refrain from the suggestion to certain persons, 
who know of support ungrudgingly given through 
many years, under the express stipulation to the 
appointed almoner that the donor s share in the tran- 
saction should be kept a profound secret. Keene was 
not not what men would call a religious man, but it was 
his only Christ-like quality not to let his right hand 
know what his left hand did. He had an almost 
morbid horror of being thanked, a quality hard for 
a Pharisaic age to calculate upon. Of the facts hinted 
at it does not behove more specific mention to be 

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"Eobect" 355 



Mr. G. H. Haydon, too, wrote but a month or two 
before his death, which followed quickly upon that 
of his friend : ** Not a very eventful life, I take it but 
a charmingly unassuming, beautiful, and unselfish 
one. 

These opinions do not sound like the memorials 
of a character distorted by the vice of niggardliness. 
That Keene was careful is shown by the following 
quotation from a letter to Mr. Crawhall in 1885 ; 
but frugality was till now a virtue, and is surely not 
synonymous with parsimony. It is of a Mr. Camp- 
bell he writes. 

** He made me feel rather old by asking me 
seriously when I was going to * retire ' ! I said I 
had never thought of it ; that artists don't ' retire' ; 
but I have found a strange fascination in the idea 
ever since ! To work con amore at what you like, 
no vulgar editors or critics to rile you, and to be 
able to go here or there as you like, and when, 
and no more hurry! On the other hand, though I 
think I have been pretty lucky with my savings, 
Tm afraid IVe lost some lately." 

This year saw the republication by Messrs. 
Bradbury and Agnew, in book form, of ** Robert ; 
or Notes from the Diary of a City Waiter, with 
Illustrations by Charles Keene." 

Who that has followed that genial dispenser of 
the *' Horse-pitallerty '' of the ** Washupful " Livery 
Companies of the City of London through his 
various experiences and adventures, will deny that 
he has obtained a fitting apotheosis } Here are 




PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF, IN LIEU OF LETTER TO MR. MILLS, EXPRESSING 
HIS HORROR AT NEWS CONTAINED IN AN ACCOMPANYING CUTTING 
HEALING WITH A FAILURE OF ONE OF HIS INVESTMENTS. 



Slc^'-na-CIofc]^ 357 



shilling s-worths of which no lover of fun and good 
pictures should fail to possess himself. 

To A lexander Macdonald, Esq. 

"239, Kings* Road, 
** Chelsea. 

\August 2, 1884.] 

" Dear Macdonald, 

** Here I am again at the old shop after my 
pleasant holiday. I managed to get from Oban to 
Newcastle without being left behind. I had a plea- 
sant time with Stevenson at Ach-na-Cloich. His 
castle is beautifully situated on a wooded promon- 
tory jutting into Loch Etive. Just below it is a 
small island, and there last Sunday lay the seal 
all day basking on a boulder, and another bobbing 
round with her cubs. 

"Crawhall admired my Aberdeen flints, and gave 
me some from a lot he had received from Oregon. 
He said they mount them as jewels there. 

"Take my love, you and the Mistress. Your 
and her kindness will make my holiday a red-letter 
record in my memory. 

** Sincerely, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

" 239, Kings' Road, 
" Chelsea. 

{^Feb, 20, 1886.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

'* Tm sorry you cannot give me a better account 



358 Cljarled lieene 



of yourself, but the beastly winter will soon be over, 
and I hope the spring warmth and a change will 
cheer you up. You must not think too much of 
those sketches. I give lots away to brother artists, 
and I like friends to have them rather than strangers, 
and I owe them to you more than anybody. With 
respect to the book you sent me, the original * Com- 
pleatest Angling Booke,' I did not like to send it back 
immediately, but you have forgotten that you have 
given me a copy, and, as you have only two or three 
left, you may want it for another friend, so I must 
not be so selfish as to keep two copies of so scarce 
and valuable a treasure. If you insist on my having 
it, I tell you I shall present it to one of two friends 
of mine, furious anglers, and who will duly value it ; 
but I think you ought to have it as it s the last. I 
went and smoked a pipe with Challoner the other 
evening, and heard from Mrs. C. that you were 
going to rusticate on some riverside. I hope you 11 
be throwing a line again. I see a * lot * in a book 
sale that's coming off — * Scrapbook containing many 
curious old Newcastle Woodcuts,' etc. I shall 
have a look at this I was very glad to hear from 
Mrs. Challoner that Hugh was home and quite free 
from his rheumatism. I should like to go to that 
jolly warm place myself. I've got a frightful cold 
just now, and find it very irksome to lose one's 
voice, and to be unable to sound a note, being 
accustomed to croon away at 17th cent, catches 
as I walk to and from my den. I hear that Joe 
is going to make a show at the Academy this 



> 



^cfatfea 359 

year. Kindest regards to Mrs. and Miss Crawhall 
and the boys. 

** Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

"239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

{Feb, 27, 1886.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

**Just a Sabbath 'good morning' — not much to 
tell you. I suppose IVe been boasting of my immu- 
nity from colds, for IVe just had a tearer, so hoarse 
that I couldn't sound a note. This to me, who am 
wont in my walking to be ever crooning over old 
catches, etc., is very irksome ; and, getting over this, 
I am left with a good touch of sciatica, and am as 
lame as a tree in the first mile of my walk. In the 
streets I can pull up and pretend to look in a shop 
window, and so rest me, but to have to stop in a 
road of villas in agony, till the twinge is better, is 
embarrassing. After this torture, as I get warm, 
the pain leaves me. I hope when the soft west 
wind comes I shall be all right. It is very kind of 
you to leave me the ' Booke of Angling,' but under- 
stand, I only know two men who deserve it — that 
they are * booky,' and would appreciate such a rarity, 
and they are staunch anglers. One is G. H. Haydon, 
my Devonshire fisherman, who knows you, and has 
all your books, or most, and Alfred Cooper, the 
artist (son of old Abraham, R.A.), an equally ardent 



/ 



36o Ctiarle0 lieene 



disciple of old Isaac's, perhaps more so, for he is a 
Londoner, and as great a master of the art of gud- 
geoning or chubbing from early morn to dewy eve 
in a Thames punt as in throwing a fly in a rippling 
trout stream. I've a notion that Hay don has a copy ; 
for you recollect you gave Montagu one ; now he 
doesn't care for fishing or books, and is less a collec- 
tor than any one I know, and he gave this copy to 
my old friend Stewart, who was both, and at the 
sale, after his death, I think Haydon secured it, in 
which case I shall present it to Cooper — you ought 
to know where this forty all are. 

" I'm glad to hear Joe is going to assert himself at 
the R.A. He ought to compete too in the show for 
admission to the Water-colour Society, if he has 
some drawings ready. 

" I'm glad to hear Barnes is better, and I shall 
write to him. 

** I hope you'll be successful nosing about for flints 
in your rusticating * Halves ' ! With kindest regards 
to Mrs. and Miss Crawhall and the boys, 

'* Yours ever, 

*' Charles S. Keene.'* 



Tg Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

**239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[^/r/7 4, 1886.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

** I hope you are better for your change to your 
country quarters. The spring is waxing beautifully 



CoUectfno: 361 



here. I hope to run down to Surrey to B. Foster's 
about the 13th, and hear the coming of the night- 
ingales. Many thanks for the arrow-heads. My 
collection is getting quite considerable, and Tm 
looking out for a cabinet. When Canon Greenwell 
was here he told us of a good collection he had seen 
at Hackney, and advised us (Hay don* and I) to go 
and see it. I wrote to the owner, a Mr. Greenhill, 
a schoolmaster, and yesterday Haydon and I went. 
As they say in Suffolk, I was * wholly stammed * ! I 
should think hundreds of the most magnificent paleo- 
lithic implements he had found himself (!) in the 
river gravels of Hackney and Clapton, with teeth 
and bones of elephant, mammoth, rhinoceros, bos- 
primigenus, lion, hyaena, etc. ; of neolithic flints, not 
many ; and no arrow-heads approaching mine — all 
found within two miles of his house, and some thirty 
feet below the surface. To see his drawings of the 
sections and deposits in which they were found, you 
are staggered at the immense period since they were 
deposited ! He has found one large implement 
scored with parallel scratches from travelling in a 
glacier! They are digging for gravel in his locality, 
as a good deal of building is going on, and they go 
deep down, and here was his opportunity. I fancy 
he must have been helped by his scholars. He's a 
young man, and very intelligent and zealous ; an 
angler too, so he and Haydon got on well. As I 
told you I should, I have transferred that copy of 
the * Compleatest Angling Booke' you lately sent 
me (as you had already given me one, and I could 



362 C|iacle0 lieette 



not selfishly hold two) to my friend Haydon, a 
master fisher, and a great admirer of yours. He 
has all your books he could get, and is a subscriber 
to the great second edition of the above C. A. B. 
So I think you will consider him a worthy possessor, 
and he will value it very much. Tve inserted a 
memorandum to this effect. God save you 

** From yours ever, 

Charles S. Keene.' 



(< 



» 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

"239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[April i), 1886.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I post this on Saturday (to-day). Do you get 
it on Sunday morning at Plessy, or, for this, must I 
post it earlier ? 

'* 1 am going to-day, having had a card from Canon 
Greenweirs friend, Franks, to the private view of the 
Oriental and Ethnographical collections (I suppose 
newly arranged) at the British Museum. Tm afraid 
this does not include the flints and prehistoricals ; 
that is under arrangement too. Tm very hot on 
paleolithic specimens just now, from having seen 
GreenhilTs collection the other day — hundreds that he 
fotcnd hwiself m the gravels at Hackney and Clapton, 
sometimes thirty feet deep ! But I should be glad 
to have some from your friend, if he is reasonable. 
I heard the great Dr. Liszt play the other night; a 
great gathering at the Grosvenor to welcome him ; 




%i0}t 365 

very shaky on his pins apparently, but when he puts- 
them under a piano he's * all there * with his hands ! 
Tm not 'carried away' with his composition; not 
musically educated up to that altitude — Wagnerish I 
The weather here is promising for spring greenery — 
swishing showers, then sun and plenty of wind to give 
exercise to the trees. I shall be going down to Witley 
later on in the month to hear the nightingales. 

** Here's a pretty go in the * Council of the Nation 'I 
Do you read the Debates ? How long will they bear 
with that snivelling old dotard W. E. G. ? 

" Kindest regards to all yours. 

** Ever yours, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



"112, Hammersmith Road. 

" Sunday, Apn'I 25 [1886]. 

*' Dear Crawhall, 

"Just as I was sitting down to write yesterday 
comes in a loafing visitor, and it was all up! He sat 
till post time! Tm sorry to hear you don't get your 
letters on Sundays ; I always looked on that as one of 
the pleasures of the country. If your Farm domicile 
is pretty cheap, I should think twice before I gave up 
the town. They are both pleasant in their way, and 
the great thing is to evade * the Doldrums.' 

'*I feel very restless in this beautiful spring weather, 
and hope to run down to Witley for a few days next 
month, but there's so much going on that it's difficult 
to * clear out' I'm going to the R.A. Dinner next 
week, and shall go early in the afternoon and see the 



364 Ctiarle0 Ifeeene 



pictures quietly before the feast. I fancy it will be 
very Portraity this year. IVe lately made the 
acquaintance of a veteran Archaeologist, and a 
learned— a friend of GreenwelFs. The first thing he 
did was to detect a forgery among my arrow-heads. 
The other day I went to see a fine collection of flints 
at Clapton — I think I told you ; put several of my 
choicest gems in my pocket, and now I miss one ! I 
fancy I must have lost it in the journey, so IVe had 
a sorrow on my mind ever since. The Canon's 
friend's name is Seidler, and he had a fine collection 
when he lived at Nantes, in Brittany, but sold it, and 
does not collect now — looks out for Greenwell. He 
tells me the latter has had a loss lately of some of his 
treasures. Did you hear of it ? One was an auto- 
graph letter of Richard the Third! — I shall look out for 
Joe's drawings ; I did not know he favoured water- 
colours. I had packed up a sketch for your gallery, 
but will post that to-morrow, as I shall send this to- 
day to save time — one of your subjects, I call it 
* Memories.' Barnes sent me some superb proofs of 
Bewick the other day, and two or three little drawings, 
so I sent him a few scraps for his album. He seems 
to be all right again. Kindest regards to all at the 
Farm, from 

*' Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene.'* 

Much nonsense was talked in the papers at the 
time of Keene's death as to his never having set foot 
inside Burlington House, and this not only by mere 



3!n feocfctp 36s 



hunters after copy, but by those who professed to be 
writing personal reminiscences. 

One, indeed, whose remarks were otherwise fairly 
correct, would seem to have adopted the common 
error for the purpose of hammering in certain 
misleading statements as to his joining with little 
alacrity in social and public gatherings of all kinds. 

As has been pointed out above, Keene was far 
from being an unsociable man or a recluse. What 
he did abhor was the merely formal gathering of 
fashionables, where intercourse is bad form unless 
confined to the interchange of platitudes and scandal. 
Keene was in no sense a Count Smorltork, and 
promptly retired into his shell when conversation 
bordered on insipidity. He looked upon conversation 
as a medium for the interchange of new ideas, not for 
a parrot-like repetition of old ones. And he could talk 
to good purpose too, when interested in his subject. 

Meeting Mrs. Langtry at Sir John Millais one 
day, for example, he was the first to suggest, in con- 
versation with her, that she should go on the stage, 
and (I quote Mrs. Langtry s own words) '* encouraged 
me to hope that I should have a success in the pro- 
fession I have since chosen/' 

But to return to the misunderstanding about the 
Royal Academy. On July 23, 1869, he had written : 
" I went to the Academy Exhibition, and I don't know 
whether Tve got more critical, or that the pictures 
being hung in looser order was the reason, but I 
seemed to feel strongly how bad a great many were, 
especially among the R.A.s and great guns." 



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"leilrtolofffcar 367 



it with a solemnity and earnestness which would have 
befitted a political crisis, and opened their columns 
to its public discussion. " Mr. Punch '' found him- 
self in the unenviable position of having to explain 
one of his own jokes. On the whole it will, I think, 
be allowed that he carried himself very well through 
that trying ordeal. 

It now becomes my duty, so far as in me lies, to 
give a plain, unvarnished account of the whole 
incident ; but, before doing so, I must acknowledge 
the kindness of Mr. Andrew Tuer in placing at my 
disposal a letter, dated December 10, 1886, in which 
Keene gives his own account of the matter. 

Some time in the early part of the year 1886 Mr. 
John Clayton, the senior partner in the well-known 
firm of Clayton and Bell, and an intimate friend of 
Keene's, had taken his seat in an omnibus at Regent 
Circus. The 'bus was bound for Westminster, but 
the conductor, not content with the three syllables 
which his duty required him to reiterate, shouted 
from stentorian lungs, *' Westmin-i-ster ! Westmin-i- 
ster!" Mr. Clayton bore with this for some time, 
and then something whispered to him that he should 
take a **rise" out of the bellowing Boeotian. 

** My good man," he said, with a sly glance at his 
fellow-passengers, ** are you aware that you give 
yourself quite unnecessary trouble in putting in 
a fourth syllable ? You are not going to take us 
to see a person, but a building ; not a clergyman, but 
a church. Our destination is Westminster, not 
Westmin-i-ster ! " 



Cttarltff Imnr 




For a moment the conductor regarded Mr. Clay- 
ton with a blank stare, and the passengers began to 
titter. Then a gleam of mtelligoice seemed to pan 
across his features, as thou^ convktioo was immi- 
nent ; but this was only for a moment. Suddenly the 
depressed look of impending poiitence ms changed 
into an exultant lode of approaching triumph, and, 
turning upon his mentor — or perhaps Mr. Clayttm 
will forgive me for saying, his tormentor — he said 
deliberately, and looking him full in the foce, " Wh^s 
the good o' the ■ W then ? " 

The daring irrelevancy of the question, and- die 
hopelessness of dealing with it on any recc^nised 
principle of repartee, so confounded Mr. Clayton^j 
that he sank back absolutely nonplussed, amidi 
the inextinguishable laughter of his fellow-travellers, 

" Away y'go. Bill," cried the conductor, hopping 
up on to his perch. He had gained a glorious 
victory. 

This story Mr. Clayton, making the most of his 
own discomfiture, related to Keene at their next 
meeting. The latter relished the incident amazingly, 
and at once said he should use it for a " Punch " 
picture. In vain Mr. Clayton tried to turn him 
from his purpose, saying that he was convinced 
that the average reader would see nothing in it. 
But Keene was not to be hindered, and in due 
course there appeared, on November 27, 1886, a 
C. K. drawing, entitled " Philological," and sub- 
scribed with the following legend : — 

" Bus Conductor {shouting from the foot-board'). 



Ml 

n,fl 



"^Iji'loloffical" 369 



* Wes*-min-i-ster ! Wes'-min-i-ster ! Wes'-min-i- 
ster ! ' 

" Accurate Passenger {though in a hurry y hed borne 
it for ten minutes, when) : * Look here, Conductor ! 
Surely you must mean ** Minster/' which is a building 
you understand — not a clergyman — a pastor of any 
— ah — religious denomination. I imagine we are 
going to the part of this ancient city famous for that 
venerable edifice ' 

''Conductor. ' Then wha's the good o' the ** W " ? ' '' 

The drawing was exquisitely suggestive of the 
drollery of the incident, but it cannot be maintained 
that the ** story '* was well handled in the "legend " ; 
and since the only complaint that Keene, in the 
letter which is given ift extenso below, brought 
against the editor was that he had " suppressed " a 
somewhat unimportant tag, we are forced to saddle 
the artist with the whole responsibility for this 
miscarriage of humour. On November 24^ the 
*' Globe " was one of the various papers which took 
notice of the matter. ** * Mr. Punch ' is requested," it 
said, "to explain C. K.'s joke, * Wha's the good o* 
the ** W ? ' in this week's issue." 

On December 4 the following paragraph appeared 
in answer to the flood of correspondence and news- 
paper comment alluded to : — 



" To Everybody, 
"In answer to the questions which have appeared 

^ ** Punch," as everyone knows, although dated Saturday, ap- 
pears on Wednesday. 

B B 



370 Ctiarle0 liecne 



in newspapers all over the world, and also to those 
contained in letters from innumerable correspondents, 
as to the meaning of a Pictorial Joke signed with 
the well-known initials C. K., and entitled * Philo- 
logical,' which appeared on p. 254 of the number 
for November 27, Mr. Punch, with every wish to 
calm the public mind, which during the recent fogs 
has been so greatly exercised on this subject, has 
great pleasure in announcing, urbi et orbi, that the 
Artist will give a prize, the nature and value of 
which will be fixed by the donor, and that Mr, Pufuh 
himself will supplement this with an additional prize 
of one copy of his Royal Jubilee Almanack of 1887, 
to Anyone, Anywhere, who, having full possession 
of his reason, and being in the perfect enjoyment of 
his liberty, shall offer such a solution as shall be 
within distinctly measurable distance of the exact 
point of the original joke intended to be set forth 
in the above-mentioned prize puzzle-picture. And 
hereto we set our hand and seal, {signed) IpUncf), 
Dec. 4, 1886." 

On December 6 Keene wrote in a letter answer- 
ing one of Mr. Tuer's : — 

*' The Editor has chosen to make a fuss about 
this subject of the Philologer. The joke is rather 
profound, but it happened to a friend just as I told 
it, and I saw points of humour in it which I will 
explain when I see you ; it's difficult to do so in 
writing. *' 

This was followed on the loth by this letter : — 



"leijiioiofficar' 371 



" 2 39, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

''Dec. 10, 1886, 

" Midnight. 

** Dear Tuer, 

** Thanks for the cheque. Til send the sketch 
to-morrow to Notting Hill. The situation actually 
occurred to my friend Clayton (Clayton and Bell, 
the glass painters), just as Tve drawn it. Til try 
and tell you how it seemed humorous to me. In 
the first place, I thought it amusing that an old 
gentleman should have such a passion for accuracy 
that he should take the trouble to correct a * bus 
cad ' in his use of a redundant letter in a word, 
though he knew what he meant !: — Then (though 
there is still the mystery what the cad meant) I 
saw a readiness and humour (of the same sort as 
Charles II.'s in his poser to the Royal Society 
about the vessel full of water and the fish) in the 
man pretending that he understood the old gent to 
be tackling him on the construction and analysis of 
the word, and flinging this philological crux at him 
and escaping. I had put a tag at the end of legend 
(*hops on to his perch with **Away ygo Bill"'). 
This the Editor, for some reason (another mystery !), 
suppressed. I am interested in the disquisitions of 
the Philologers (in my ignorant way — know nothing 
about it) that I often read in * Notes and Queries,' 
etc. I saw the rejoinder in this light from the first, 
and never reflected the Public might not — * hence 
these tears' and confusion. I hope your solution 



3;3 Cijdcles Hernt 




comes somewhere near it. I have not been so luckjf' 
as to find any one of the same mind with me yet I 
" Yours ever, 

" Charles S. KBBHa." 

To which Mr. Tuer sent the following reply :-r 

" 3o, Nottmg Hill Square, W. 

'■i5Ak,i88& 
"Dear Keene, 

" Yes, your explanation of the joke ^;rees wttb 
mine, But unfortunately I at first delved deep^ and 
signally floundered. If headed 'A Non Stgnitmr 
with a Vengeance r or 'A Philological Norn 5f- 
fuiiur,' the point, which is really good, would, I 
diink, have been quite understood. 
" V. truly yours, 

"And. W. TuEa."^ 

The incident was brought to a humorous con- 
clusion by the following paragraph in " Punch " for 

December i8. 

" Philological. 
" C. K. having left it to his revered Chief to decide 
both as to the best solution of the puzzle-picture and 
the nature of the prize to be awarded, we beg to 
announce, on behalf of Mr. Punch, that the nearest 
approach to a complete solution has been reached by 
a Constant Subscriber, near Oxford, to whom the 
Artist's prize, and a copy of Mr. Punch's Royal 
Jubilee Almanack, have been posted. And for our- 
selves, we add this, that never, till within these last 



"lefifioioffftar' 373 



ten days, had we fully appreciated the nature and 
extent of the labour which must be undergone daily 
and weekly by a thoroughly conscientious * Puzzle- 
Editor/ on any of our * Society Papers/ No remu- 
neration short of five thousand a year and a hand- 
some annuity to his wife and children can possibly 
make up to him for the wear and tear — a tremendous 
lot of tearing — of such an occupation. Surely * that 
way madness lies/ And the taste for this sort of 
thing is on the increase. All sorts and conditions 
of men and women are for ever consulting about 
Mights/ and words, and syllables, and the poor 
Puzzle-Editors must be inundated by thousands of 
letters, that is, if we judge by the flow of correspon- 
dence that has been let loose upon us up to the date 
when we closed the flood-gates and dammed the 
stream. Henceforth, no more puzzles, or, at all 
events, not on the same conditions. This has been 
quite enough for once. By the way, as the publica- 
tion of the solution would, in our opinion, only lead 
to further discussion, which would be quite unprofit- 
able, we keep it to ourselves, and only throw out 
these hints — that the dialogue was actually over- 
heard ; that the conductor only meant to chaff the old 
gentleman by posing him with an utterly absurd and 
pointless question, just as Charles the Second 
posed the Royal Society ; ^ and that what sounds a 
wonderfully good joke, when overheard at the mo- 

* Charles the Second's poser, if I remember right, was, " Why does 
a bowl of water with fish in it weigh the same as a bowl full of 
water without ? " 



Cliarled Becne 



ment, does not always improve by being kept. With 
this sidelight thrown on the picture, there are already 
many quick-witted persons on whom the humour 
is dawning, and who are beginning to 'roar' over 
C. K.'s joke, and, on second thoughts, to consider it 
as a r^ular side-splitter." — Pumk, Dec 18, 18S6. 




CHAPTER XII. 

1887 and 1888. 

Mr. Tuer's note-paper. — Stipply appearance in "Punch " draw- 
ings. — The "recorder" and penny whistle. — Royal Society of 
British Artists. — Royal Society of Painters in Water-colours. — 
"Leaves of Parnassus." — Letier, April 9, 1887. — Letter, June 11, 
1887. — Letter, July i, 1887. — Letter, August 19, 1887. — Letter, 
September 13, 1887. — Keen e no sport sm an. — An amusing dilemma. 
— Letter, September, 1887. — Letter, October i, 1887, — Letter, 
October 22, 1887. — " King James's Wedding, and other Rhymes," 
— Against the Tory grain. — Letter, February 18, 1888. — Letter, 
June 12, 1888.— Letter, June 14, 1888. 

^T the beginning of Chapter VII. men- 
tion was made of a curious effect which 
the system of photographing on to the 
wood-block was to have upon some of 
Keene's later "Punch" drawings. It 

was in this way. 

His friend, Mr. Tuer. had a liking for note-paper 

of a peculiarly rough grain, which he had induced 

an acquaintance to manufacture specially for his use. 

Keene was much taken with it, and wrote in an 

undated letter : — 

" Dear Tuer, 

" Where can I get that rough paper that you 




376 Cftarlts Beetle 



use? I'm doing a 'Punch' sketch on the back of 
one of your letters, which I shall be flattered if you 
will accept (I'll send it when it has been photo'd). 
I like it (the paper!) very much. The surface 
makes a n^;ged line. , 

" Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Kebnh." 

Those who have.studied Keene's drawti^ closdy 
in " Punch " will have become aware that at times 
there was a breaking up of the lines into infinitesimal 
curves and dots, which gave a lithographic or stipply 
appearance difficult to account for in work usually so 
direct and clean. This was the result of working 
upon the rou^ paper with which Mr. Tuer provided 
him. The ragged lines, being pliotographed on to 
the wood-block, came out a series of microscopical 
curves and dots, and, being accurately reproduced by 
the engraver, resulted in an effect which certainly 
relieved, in a delightful way, the dull monotony of 
the printer's ink. The labour of cutting must have 
been immensely increased thereby. One trembles 
to think of the language it must have evoked from 
those who were called upon to do the work. For 
examples of the effect produced, readers may refer to 
" Surplusage." in " Punch " for Oct. 23, 1886 ; " The 
News," April 9, 1887; and "The Fourth Estate," 
March 2, 1889. But these are only a few out of 
many. 

The year 1887 found Keene as enthusiastic as 
ever over music. As has been mentioned elsewhere. 



'^ascftis^ aivtisiM" 



577 



it was now that he took up the study of that obsolete 
instrument of the flute tribe, the "recorder." Not 
content with one novelty, however, we also find him 
going in enthusiastically for one of a much more 
modest character. On April r6 he writes to Mr. 
Crawhall : " I'm very much wrapped up in a book 
oi Irish tunes just now. and mean to go in seriously 




for the penny whistle— bought a tutor to-day. Some 
of them are very beautiful, and I'll send you a speci- 
men soon ; but they are often in a minor key, and of 
more compass than I can get out of the practice- 
stick." 

This same year the Royal Society of British Artists 
elected Keene an honorary member.' This fact 
reminds me that the writer of the just and apprecia- 

' He resigned his membership on June 4, r888. 



378 C^arle0 lieene 



tive leading article in the " Times " for January 6, 
1 89 1, was wrong in supposing that ** it never occurred 
to his brethren in Art, who claim to lead the nation 
professionally, to signify their admiration of him by 
the bestowal of diplomas." As a matter of fact, 
Keene never exhibited at the Royal Academy, and 
consequently was not qualified for election ; but I am 
assured that a suggestion was made to him, by a 
person in very high authority, that he should do so, 
and thus give the Royal Academy an opportunity of 
officially recognizing his eminence as an artist. 

Several years before this, too, it was proposed to 
put him up for election to the Royal Society of 
Painters in Water-colours, under the rule which 
provides that '* candidates are at liberty to stand their 
ballot, resting on their known professional ability," 
but he preferred being elected under the ordinary 
law that obliges a candidate to offer for the inspection 
of the members some water-colour works. Unfortu- 
nately he, from some cause or other, was not able to 
carry out this design, and so the Society was deprived 
of the honour of enrolling his name, much to the regret 
of many of his old friends who were members. 

This year (1887) we find him writing : ''When I 
was at Peterhead 1 met some people who gave me 
some arrow-heads found in their grounds, and I sent 
them some old sketches. They have been printing 
a Jubilee book for the funds of their Episcopalian 
Chapel,' and asked if they might reproduce them, to 
which I assented, and they have sent me the book, 

^ St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Peterhead. 



Collecrino: 379 



* Leaves of Parnassus/ rather well got up — local 
poetry and prose, with local wit, I suspect, but very 
good. They have grouped my sketches in a page, 
so they come very small — perhaps all the better/' 

To Joseph C^'awhally Esq. 

"112, Hammersmith Road. 

[Aprils 1887.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

'* Tm hugely obliged to you for the tip for the 
musical instruments. The tambourine tempts me 
very much, and I'll just sleep a few more nights on it. 
Fm such an inveterate collector that I have to turn 
over my whims very fully. The guitar even fetches 
me, though IVe got about half-a-dozen. To show you 
how careful I am, I was at Sotheby*s the other day 
(nasty rainy morning, and nobody there). There 
were a lot of Greek and Roman antiques went 
at such prices as would have tempted a saint! e.g.^ 

* Four amphorae with red bands, and two others,* six 
shillings ! Several lots like this. Bronzes : * Two 
Samian ware cups, three paterae, some with potter s 
name.' I went up to nine shillings for this, it went 
for ten ! There were some flints (that I was after), 
but they went beyond their value — not to speak of 
the old plate and the coins, the Chelsea and Dresden ! 
It's lucky you don't live in London ! Harpsichords 
are difficult to find in tolerable playing order, and I 
don't think there is anybody who can repair them. 
They are about the size of a very small piano, 
generally with a stand, which is separate. A spinet 



38o CljairUe T^etne 




the same ; this is smaller. I can't understand how 
it is you've not heard from Haydon ; he must be 
away or ill. I'll go and see him next week. I send 
you a pen I've invented, my own manufacture, cal- 
culated for a bold handwriting or drawing. This 
a duffer I've got now. Kindest regards to all ii 
Sydenham Terrace. 

" Yours ever, 

"Charles S. KeeseJ 




Tojos^h Crawhall, Esq. 

"239, King's Road, 
"Chelsea. 

" Dear Crawhall, 

"The Jubilee's 'fast dev-ay-Iopin' into a bore,' 
as old Carlyle said to a chattering friend. I've been 
and am harried and chivied about by our Editor 
over the coming number — till life's a burden ! I'm 
glad you like the sketch, but the debt's on my side. 
For instance, here's another quest 1 would ask you 
to make for me. In the last 'Chronicle' there is a 
paragraph, ' Miss Laura A. Smith continues her 
articles on Sailors' Songs in the " Shipping World." 
In this month's issue the Lieder of German sea- 
faring men are dealt with.' Is this ' Shipping World' 
a local paper ?— weekly, or monthly, or both ? If so, 
could you procure and send me a No., and for which 
I insist on reimbursing you ? I want to find out if 
there is a likelihood of these articles being reissued 
afterwards in a book, in the same way as those 



fet. Cecilia feocietp 381 



Northumberland tunes a year or so ago. If this 
paper is published in London don't trouble, as I can 
get it myself. I was at a concert last night of the 
St. Cecilia Society, all women (band and chorus), 
conducted by Malcolm Lawson. One piece was a 
Jubilee cantata of his composing, words by his wife, 
with a good deal about * Erin ' in it. Here's a leaf 
out of the programme. I don't know whether (see 
song of the * Women of Scotland ') insisting on the 
relationship of Victoria to *our Stuart Mary' was 
happy, but certainly the part about Erin seemed to 
damp the spirits of the audience. Whether its 
thoughts reverted to certain murders and houghings 
and the blackguardisms of Messrs. Healy, Cony- 
beare, Tanner, and Co., or what, but the silence at 
the end was ghastly ! As a friend used to say, * you 
could have heard an umbrella drop ' ! The * Texts ' 
are superb ! A new idea, to blazon your peccadilloes 
on your walls ! I met a Miss Palmer the other day, 
who seemed to know everybody in Newcastle, a 
good contralto singer, but I had not the opportunity 
then of talking to her. The other night I met at 
dinner a very pleasant man, Brady, F.R.S,, whose 
Northern tongue I detected — comes from your town, 
or Durham, I fancy — had travelled much. I asked 
my host what his particular branch of science was ; 
said he thought * Diatoms ' ! Good heavens ! Got a 
flint arrow-head this morning from Buchan. Happi- 
ness for a week ! 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



383 Ctrarle0 %rtnt 




Tojos^k Craufhall, Esq. 



" »39, King*! Koad, 
"Cbebea. 

" Dear Crawhall, 

" I'm getting ready to run down to Biikcit 
Foster's Monday or Tuesday, but shall return on 
Saturday — sickening for fresh air; 'c^ my feed.* 
This preparation will make me busy to-mwrow, 
so jot down my chronicle to-night I asked my 
friend Hipkins, at Broadwood's, about that old 
piano. He writes: ' I think, however, ^^5 is much 
for that very old square piano (one of die fifsC 
made). £2 would be enough for it ; it would cer* 
tainly cost £$ to make it playable. Such [Manos 
are from time to time offered to Broadwood's. who 
never buy them ; still they come, and I could very 
likely secure a sound one for you. Harpsichords 
and spinets are becoming rare, and go at about £30 
without repairs,' etc. So I think it will be safer 
to trust to him to procure me one, instead of 
thinking of this one of Bell's. If my friend Hipkins 
ever goes to Newcastle I'm going to introduce him 
to you. He's writing that book on Musical Instru- 
ments you spoke of. They are beautifully done, 
but the price staggers me. He tells me all the tall 
copies are taken up. I'm glad you liked the Jubilee 
sketch, but don't talk of ' debt ' — d'ye mind the 
Albums ? — not exhausted yet ! I shall try and work 
your story of the Secretary of Water Co. If this 
drought goes on, what's to become of Sir Wilfrid 



%^t aitibtmv "fetDarrj? " 383 

Lawson ? I have not seen Hay don for some time. 
I can fancy how delighted he d be with your text. 
That's quite in his vein. You should do him a 
piscatorial one for his cabin on the Hampshire 
stream. I went to the Academy *Swarry' last 
night — the usual scrouge. These sort of meetings 
fascinate me, from meeting people who come and 
confabulate, and whom I don't know from Adam ! 
having forgotten them, and it's a little game to keep 
from committing yourself to that confession in the 
parley! Til try and think of some more texts for 
you. I shall write to you from Witley next week. 

** Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

" Tell Joe, Christie, the Paisley man, was asking 
after him. He's been painting down in Norfolk. 

" Saturday morning, — Just received the edition 
de luxe J 'Jubilee Thought,' — beautiful. 'Debt,' 
indeed ! The other day, at the pipe contest, I asked 
a player what was the pibroch I had just heard him 
play? ' McSomebody's Lament.' I asked then what 
book it was in } * It's in nae book, it's mown ' (with 
a sniff)." 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

" 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

\Aug, 19, 1887.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

** I'm going to lunch with Abbey and Parsons 
to-morrow, to meet a compatriot of the former, an 
American Colonel, who, 1 suppose, is touring around. 



. 1 . . 



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&, 33 ro&en 9Dap 3S5 



I don't know the language, and they say the jokes 

are poor, but some of the drawings are excellent. 

I'll send you these up to look at if you like. Mind 

you tell me when Mrs. Crawhall comes up to 

London. 

" Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawhally Esq. 

** 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

iSept 3, 1887.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

'* I was prevented writing last Saturday by 
discovering, just as I got to my den, that I'd left a 
parcel in the bus I travelled by. This sort of thing 
riles me woundily. Couldn't rest without making an 
effort to recover it, though it was not of much value — 
some numbers of the Munich ' Punch ' and a * Punch ' 
sketch. I started to the starting-place where I got in — 
saw inspector — could not say I could spot the con- 
ductor, as I had not taken notice. He said he'd make 
inquiries. All this broke my day, and upset every- 
thing. I've tried your subject you suggested (Scot 
who kept the Sabbath, and everything else). What 
do you say for a title ? though that is not essential. 
None is better than a tame one. I've packed up a 
consignment of exhausted Albums, about half I shall 
be a little easier after this. Don't send the one you 
speak of till after my holiday. I expect to get oft 
about the nth or 12th for a week or fortnight, but 

c c 



386 Cl)arle0 l&cene 



shall write as usual. I should like to have been with 
you at the pipe gathering. I know the sort of thing 
exactly. Tm doing a drawing — 

''' Piscator {at the end of a bad day), ** Donald, 
hang the boat here a bit, we may get a rise/' 

*' ' Donald (dreaking down). ** I will tamm the 
boat, if you will ! — and the trouts — and the loch 
too-o ! '* ' 

I went yesterday with my antiquary friend 
(Seidler, a chCim of Canon G.) to see a collection at 
Wandsworth (of flints), made by a young fellow 
there (a pawnbroker), mostly from the Thames, a 
favourable locality and business, to get a connection 
among the ballast dredgers and longshore men who 
find them. The quantity of flints and bronze stored 
up in the mud is incredible. He corresponds with 
Canon G., and gives him a chance of the best finds. 
He has a fine collection. He gave me a few. More 
next week. Ravenous for my dinner and the (first) 
pipe after. 

'* Yours ever, 

'' Charles S. Keene." 

Keene was no sportsman, and as the shooting 
season came round, year by year, he was almost 
invariably hard up for subjects. He had, however, a 
strong sympathy and understanding, and once a joke, 
sporting or otherwise, was made clear, no one could 
surpass him in bringing out its point. 

The two following letters show him in an amusing 
dilemma on this score. 



Sporting pictured 387 

To Alfred Cooper ^ Esq, 

'* 239 King's Road, 

** Chelsea. 

'• Dear Alfred, 

" Do you remember a subject you gave me once 
of a 

** * Visitor [having shot a hare at the usual severity 
yards). ** Long shot that, Johnson." 

" * Keeper, " Yes, sir ; Master remarked as it were 
a wery long shot." 

" * Visitor [gratified) ** Ah — Oh he noticed it, did 
he/' 

** 'Keeper. ** Yes, sir, Master always take notice. 
When gen'lemen makes wery long shots they don't 
get asked again ! " ' 

"Why would * Master' object to this long shot? 
Burnand doesn't know anything about sporting, 
and he's sure to want to know. I don't know either ! 
Will you kindly explain, so that I can answer him as 
if I were an expert. How are you all ! I've been in 
the dumps a long time. Dentist pulled all my teeth 
out. I've *got 'em on ' at last. 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



To Alfred Cooper, Esq. 

" 239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

'* Dear Alfred, 

** Do you think this would do instead of the 
hare — * Visitor (who had let fly **into the Brown," 



388 Cdarled lieene 



at eighty yards, and brought down a brace) ! * ? but 
if you and Francis (who sent me the suggestion) 
think the hare best, Til stick to it. This question 
arose in talking to a shooting man at the Club last 
night, who explained the sporting point to me. I'm 
so sorry to give you the trouble, but if I make a 
decent sketch Til send it you for your scrap-book. 

** Yours, 

*' Charles S. Keene." 

To Joseph CrawJiall, Esq. 

^* 112, Hammersmith Road, 

'' StpL [1887]. 

** Dear Crawhall, 

" You are evidently having a lively time of it 
with * Cherubim and Seraphim,* etc. Tm in very 
quiet circumstances. My sister away, I have the 
house all to myself; town quite empty. I had some 
trouble to hunt up a couple of friends to come and 
sup on Barnes' grouse the other night. Tm hard at 
work trying to get a week or two ahead, but the 
Shooting Season is always difficult — everything has 
been done. I have just culled one from the Albums. 
I've been delighted with two new (to me) tunes in 
the * Beuk ' — ' The Manchester Angel ' and * The 
Water of Tyne.' I don't remember spotting them 
in the Antiquary's * North*^. Minstrelsy,* but may 
have passed them over. * The Water of Tyne,' is 
charming, and is constantly in my throat. By-the- 
by, I suppose that map of Newcastle is a process 
block, or did you engrave it ? I'm seriously thinking 



Italian (E.ri)fbftfoii 389 

of going in for photography. The only thing that 
stops me is the difficulty of contriving a dark closet 
to develop in at home. My idea is, to work with a 
small detective camera, and to enlarge from these small 
negatives. IVe seen some beautiful things lately in 
this way. IVe one or two friends first-rate workmen 
at it. It is so easy now, compared with the old collo- 
dion process that I used to slave at. W. Richmond 
and I went on Monday to the Italian Exhibition ; a 
great lot of pictures, mostly bad ; but there is one 
Segantine (I think), whose work quite knocked me 
over! rather an impressionist, but very original. Rich- 
mond was equally struck. Ask Joe if he has heard of 
him, as it struck me that, from the quality of his work, 
he would admire him very much. An Italian told me 
last night that he had an enthusiastic following, but 
that some people raved against him. I can easily 
understand that. The show otherwise was amusing. 
The Italians seem to be very strong in furniture, but 
over-carved — the thairs make you shudder ! There's 
the Coliseum, and gladiators, and chariot-racing, and 
the Emperor Titus — very imposing person — and the 
Amazons ! The foot-racing of the last is screaming ! 

** My friend S s' book of Poems is a-printing. 

I shall send you a copy — I'm going to have a few. 
He's a strange fellow. He has just anchored himself 
for life on the edge of a lonely voe in Shetland. 
These are tracings of the sketches he sent me of the 
'Residence.' He says his parlour will be 12 ft. 
square, and his bedroom 8 ft. by 6 ft. I think this 
is a great mistake for one of his temper to make ; of 



^-•'T'*'*^ 



390 Ciarlefl Itreftf 

course I don't tell him so. I thinki if a man goes * 
in for seclusion from the worlds he should be able tat 
change about. Fancy the longlvinter there i I send 
him a book now and then. 

*' I don't know the book you menti<m» ' Characters 
of Theophrastes,' but I should think not an msy task 
for leisure ! Your suggestion' of the Soctali^ at the 
R.A. will come in well next year at Exhibition time, 
if we reach it. You recollect my writii^ to you <^ 
some pretty china I had seen at a pawnbroker's near 
me. I have since thought they were modem, and an • 
expert t met this morning, who saw tlnsm, says diey 
are so. There are some small Chelsea (?) %ures, 
very like those you said y6u rose at the other day { 
but, as you say, they are very pretty whenever they 
were done. I'm looking in on Montagu to«day, and 
will let you know what he says to the bdok when I 
write next Time's up. 

** Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

"239, King's Road, 
" Chelsea. 

lOct. I, 1887.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

The Album came all right, and I shall tackle it 
instanter. I'm still a little ahead, which I find a 
pleasant state of things, and enables me to take an 
odd day for diversion, a bit of disused holiday in fact. 
I found my sojourn at the sea-side was taken too 



JFelir0totoe 391 



late in the year; the air was too fresh to lounge 

about and sketch. I was a bad hand at golf, so I did 

not like to spoil my friends play by entering the 

lists with him, so was reduced to long walks to warm 

myself. We projected a ramble up the coast, pored 

over the ordnance maps and planned our routes, but 

somehow it did not come off. The hotel was large 

and full of people, some leaving every day and 

others coming, some for golf, others, families for 

their summer outing. We dropped into the salle-a- 

manger about 8.30 to breakfast; the grub good and 

various enough, but differing from my regular home 

selection, so I did not make such a gorge of it as my 

friends, who were not such Conservatives as I am. 

Their appetites, and what they put away, astonished 

me. For the last two months at home Tve resisted 

tobacco till the evening, and have been all the better 

for it ; but here, where my friends directly after 

breakfast began twizzling up cigarettes, I broke 

down, and went at my pipe ! to the detriment of my 

liver. Then we lounged off to the links, about a mile 

and half off, and watched the play, or else * took a 

walk,' which I hate (I like to be distinctly going 

somewhere, and then I like it). We mostly lounged 

back to lunch — not one of my meals, especially after 

tobacco. P.M. — Another walk, or perhaps a game 

at bowls (better), and shilly-shallying till dinner, 7.30. 

By this time I was pretty peckish ; lots of people ; no 

dress luckily, and we prattled of how we had got 

through the day ! After dinner I and my friends 

retired to the smoking-room, and puffed and played 



392 Ct)arle0 %eene 



dominoes till bed-time. I did not bathe — too cold. 
One day we went to Ipswich, twelve miles off; hunted 
for curio shops — I found those I knew of gone; 
strolled through the Museum — a good lot of flints. 
The curator, whom I knew, has promised me some. 
I used up another day going there and looking up 
my few relations left there. At last I bolted, and so 
ended my holiday ; and here I am in the old groove, 
and no 'bacco till after dinner, so IVe got my appetite 
again. Since IVe been back, prowling about the 
book-stalls and print-shops, I picked up a couple of 
old engravings I've been long looking after — De 
Loutherbourgh's * Battle of Camperdown' and ' Howe's 
Victory.' The latter is brown, and I think of sending 
it to Waters to restore. Tm still in quest of another 
by the same master, a favourite of mine, * The Battle 
of the Nile,' his best. I had a prowl round the 
dealers on Wednesday with Seidler, a paleolithic 
friend of Canon Greenwells. At Bryce Wright's in 
Regent Street I bought a great Pressigny Core, a 
well-known type, and a long flake (to carry in my 
pocket, useful even in these latter days). Then we 
went to Whelan's, another chum of the Canon's ; here 
I bought another knife and a scraper from Roben- 
hausen, one of the most famous of the Swiss Lake 
dwellings. The discoveries in the remains of these 
habitations, as told in Keller s book, with the illus- 
trations, make a most romantic story. They are 
still carrying them out, and I've lately got a further 
volume with the latest finds. What did you think of 
the * Fliegende Blatter * ? Are they not very good } 



(Cdirorial 393 



especially those by Oberlander and Hengeler. There 
are some magnificent designs in the Nos. for the 
first half of this year by these two artists, especially 
in the animal line — rats, mice, frogs, and birds, and 
such small deer. The swells and ladies, etc., are 
good, but they are easier. Here's an illustration 
of what we suffer at the hands of editors ! Did 
you notice the subject in * Punch ' (from Album), 
' Yachting trifler and sad family man * ? I wrote the 
legend as you did : * Yachtiftg Man {aii^ily and natu- 
rally). *' You ever caught in a squall, Brown ? ' ' 
You saw that the sapient Editor altered this to ' Have 
you had any experience in squalls, Brown?'! and 
further invented that filthy little 'naughtical'! It 
was an emetic to me ! Make a note of any shooting, 
hunting, or fishing subjects you may come across for 
the Almanack. Tve done one fishing one (from 
Outsider), and shall send you the sketch. 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene. 

'* P.S. — That round-point pen is very good. If you 
find the emporium again I wish you would purchase 
a box for me — the first made are always the best — 
they will make them of cheaper metal if they succeed." 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

"239, King's Road, 
** Chelsea. 

[Oct. 22, 1887.] 

" Dear Crawhall, 

** Here is the sketch of the fishing story I said 



394 Cfjarletf l&eene 



rd send you. I hope you'll like it, and that there is 
no mistake (I'm no fisherman) in the details. You'll 
see the legend, I suppose, in the Almanack. I got 
the roll of prints and MS. this morning, which seem 
very interesting. It's curious to note the change in 
the language and spelling in a little more than a 
hundred years. That's a capital etching of your 
fathers, and well bitten — the crux in etching for 
amateurs. Did he do many etchings ? I shall frame 
the Gainsborough — am on the look-out for last century 
oval, etc., frames. I expect they imitate these now- 
a-days. I had a letter from Haydon, bustling me 
up, as we had not met for a long time. I shall go 
and see him next week. But time is up, and, that 
you may get this to-morrow, adieu for present — more 
next week. 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

In the following year " King James's Wedding, 
and other Rhymes," by J. Sands, author of ** Out of 
the World, or Life at St. Kilda," was published,^ 
with illustrations by Charles Keene, Henry Christie, 
(Mr. Sands' nephew), and others. Keene's work on 
this book was altogether a labour of love, his friend- 
ship with the author having been, as we have seen, 
of a very rare and lasting nature. The publisher 
informs me that the figures opposite pages 22 and 
72 are portraits of the author drawn, contrary to 
Keene's custom, from memory. Of this work we 

1 Arbroath: T. Buncle, 1888. 



%■ .,.:;■ ^ - - 



396 Cfiarles %eeiie 



find him writing : '' I'm fast to those poems which 
I promised to illustrate for my friend Sands. I' 
shall send you a copy of the book, and you will be 
amused. He's a furious Radical, and I tell him Fm 
rather handicapped with the work, as so many of die 
poems have such a strong political leaning that I 
could not touch them except derisively," and then he 
laughs at the. irony of Fate that calls upon him, the 
essential Tory, to illustrate such sentiments as die 
following : — 

'* Lo ! Great Columbia from her copious horn 
Pours into Britain streams of beef and corn. 
Mutton and meal, and pippins dried and green, 
Bacon and butter, cheese and butterine. 
The territorial interest stands aghast. 
And fain virould hope the torrent cannot , last." 

The volume contains thirteen drawings by Keene, 
some of which, noticeably those on pages 24, 41, and 
68, are very charming studies. 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

" 239, King*s Road, 
" Chelsea. 

" Saturday. 

S^Feb, 18, 1888.] 

** Dear Crawhall, 

** I hope you keep as well as this stingy wintry 
weather permits. Tve come off pretty well, in spite 
of my dungeon-cold studio with badly fitting windows 
and east wind blizzards. The time is uneventful ; and 
sticking pretty close to work till midnight, and then 
home to bed, leaves me not much to write about. 



^ 



^ Conundrum 397 



The last time I played truant, and spent a warm 
evening reading by the fire at the Club, I heard a new 
(I think) conundrum flying about, * Why is a lifeboat 
just come alongside a wreck like a new-born babe ? 
Ans. Because the hoped for succour has at length 
arrived ! ' Pretty and surprising, I thought. Try 
Mrs. Crawhall with it, and write down the answer ; 
perhaps she'll read it out before she discovers the 
pun! Have you seen Hipkins' book of the Musical 
Instruments that were shown at the Healtheries ? 
The price is appalling, but I was sorely tempted, 
but it is so purely a vol. * de luxe * that I resisted. 
The only book Tvegot lately is a vol. of Playford's 
of Songs and Dialogues, by Lawes, Wilson, etc. — 
1690 — diamond-headed notes, but no accompani- 
ment to the songs ; but it is interesting to spell out 
the tunes. Did you see my portrait in ' Punch ' ? I 
don't think my dress coat fits so badly as he has 
depicted it, though it is a very old one. I had a 
pleasant evening last night, dined with the Madrigal 
Society. After dinner the books are brought on the 
tables (as in Queen Bess's time). We sort ourselves 
as to our voices, and halloo the compositions of Bird 
and Wilbye and Gibbons to our great delectation, 
breaking up about 9.30. Then, as we leave the 
tables, the Abbey boys (the trebles) rush down and 
pouch the dessert prestissimo. How does the new 
book get on ? 

'* I got rather a good subject to-day — 
" 'Schoolmaster {at the conclustofi 0/ the interview). 
" I think, sir, you will have no occasion to repent 



398 C]^arle0 lieene 



placing your sons under my care. I may mention 
that in our time we have turned out two Senior 
Wranglers, neither of whom have looked back with 

regret upon the curriculum " 

*' ' Parent {self -made and strong-minded). ** The — 
ah — eh ? — Oh certainly — if you ketch 'em wranglin' 
or any o' that nonsense, turn *em out neck and crop 
— or rather, don't spare the currie — or whatever yer 
call it — let 'em 'ave it ! ! ! " ' 

*' Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Craw hall, Esq, 

Arts Club, 

Hanover Square, W. 
\^lune 12, 1888.] 

'* Dear Crawhall, 

*' I envy you your holiday by Coquetside. I'm 
still hard at work at my friend's verses ! and the pre- 
face and index drawings imminent, so no country for 
me yet. That was a nice notice of your book of poor 
Westwood's. I got the * Angler's Note-book/ both 
series, though the first is out of print ; he must have 
been a good fellow. I should have enjoyed that nine 
miles walk with you. You ought to make some 
more of those pre-Raphaelite sketches of the country- 
side, if you don't fish. There is one of Bamboro* in 
one of the Albums that I covet ; you told me once I 
might have it, but I shall send you a sketch in ex- 
change for it. I've several others, and I shall either 
frame them, or perhaps bind them in a vol. with those 



Jfalence 399 

little local notes you sent me, with others of the same 
sort, or in the book o* sangs. I read those articles 
about the flint fish-hooks ; rather wild, I thought ; 
don't believe in those flint * gorges/ It says from the 
' Lovett Collection/ Tve heard this antiquary is not 
* sound ' ! The story about the young lady falling 
down in ball-room is too like one in an old * Punch,' 
with the difference that it is an old gent. I had a 
letter from my friend who went to Japan, etc., for his 
winter trip ; doesn't seem to be over ecstatic about 
it ; says it's precious cold sometimes, like home — 
and there's no bread ! Says he'll be back in July, 
and expects me to go with him then into Suffolk to 
begin golf again, for which he says he pines! I haven't 
been to any of the exhibitions yet of pictures, or the 
Italian, Danish, or Irish. In a pawnbroker's window 
near me there are some fictile specimens that strike 
my fancy. A little lantern of Delft ware, blue on 
white — perfect, and a little chest of drawers painted 
with flowers, * faience,' ! etc., etc., but I must resist. 
I'm certain you wouldn't! More next week. 

" Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene/' 



To Joseph Crawhall, Esq, 

" 112, Hammersmith Road. 

''July i^th [1888]. 

** Dear Crawhall, 

** I've been a very bad correspondent lately, but 
I'm glad to say I've finished the drawings for my 
friend Sands' Poems at last, and can now look around 



CI)<irIes l^eciie 



a little, and have notions of undertaking the round 
of the many Exhibitions ; dare say I shall let many 
of them slip after all, I was at the Academy 'Swarry.' 
but met so many friends and gossips that I could not 
save my shilling and see the works, so I. shall have 
to go again. There was the usual jam, but luckily 
it was a coolish night. I think I sent you a card that 
1 was starting to visit some newish frioids, which I 
had promised to do since some time aga This sacri- 
fice of my pleasant idle Sunday at home, reading 
the ' Weekly Chronicle Supplement ' and pottering 
generally, hung over me, and I wanted to get it over. 
As it turned out, it was pleasant enough. My friend, 
Laurence Harrison, is a rich stockbroker, and the last 
two summers he has taken Maple Durham House <tf 
the Blounts, an old Papist family, who have lived in 
it since Queen Bess's days. There is a portrait of 
one of them in ' Lodge's Portraits,' so you can 
imE^ne its surroundings (it is near Reading and 
Pangbourne, on the Thames) — the panelled rooms, 
oak staircases, queer old family pictures, the priest's 
hiding place, library of great folios, china cupboards 
with the old Lateen plates and dishes. Some of the 
old china looked to me very choice, but I'm an igno- 
ramus in this line. With all this I passed a very 
pleasant, dreamy day, a good deal in the beautiful 
gardens — very pleasant hosts. The difficulty I had 
was to stay about there and keep away from the river, 
which they think a good deal of, but which was spoilt 
for me by the cockney boat-crew^ in every shade of 
mauve and pink, and the steam launches and house- 



Blafce 401 

boats. Came back on Monday morning. Tm going 
for a few days to Birket Foster's next, but I'll post 
you up when. 

** 1 should have liked to see the collection of the 
omnivorous Swedenborgian Antiquary, but 1 don't 
know about Blake ! A little of him goes a good way 
with me ! 1 like him best in book-plates and cuts. 
The superficial admiration of Michael Angelo has had 
a fearsome effect on some imaginations. 1 bid for 
two Bewick books in a catologue 1 got the other day, 
*A Spring Day' and *A Winter Season.' I dare 
say you have them. 1 got your welcome budget last 
night when 1 got home. I went to the theatre ; have 
not been since Canon G. took me to see the ' Mikado,' 
and I'm ashamed of my laziness in this respect. Saw 
an American company play the * Taming of thr 
Shrew,' but the first lady overdid the part o: 
Katherine — made her a maniac — otherwise it was 
well enough done. It was amusing to hear Shake- 
speare in the Boston dialect. That was a cheap lot 
you picked up of the ' Vanity Fair ' cartoons. I was 
scared this morning at receiving the prospectus of 
those Rembrandt reproductions I told you of. When I 
told my friend Heseltine, who is one of the promoters, 
that 1 would subscribe, hearing the price was about 
;^5, I did not understand that this was only for the 
first number ! but I find that altogether it will run to 
the tune of ;^20 or so ! so I've written to back out 
of the remaining Nos. if I can. I'm such an omni- 
vorous collector, that I funk going so deeply in 
one particular line. A specimen will do for me. I'm 

D D 



402 C^arle0 lieene 



just now trying to pick up a fine Danish book of 
Prehistoric Antiquities, beautifully illustrated, that 
will cost me at least five or six pounds, as I fancy 
it is out of print. 

" Curious old chap, old M ! 1 wrote to him the 

other day recommending him a book I was reading (he 
passes his life in reading). He writes : * It is a deed 
of charity to put me on the track of a readable book, 
as 1 find great difficulty in making out a list to apply 
for.' This book I recommended is * The Life and 
Adventures of Arndt, the Singer of the German 
Fatherland,* etc. He continues: *but you put my 
faith in you to a severe test when you tell me to read 
about a ** Singer " ! We have had a good many lives 
of singers, from Milton and Byron downwards, but 
they do not bear writing about ; the more we learn 
about them the less we like them.' (!) — * I have begun 
many books with a wish to read them because they 
are so much talked about and praised, for example : 
^*The Pilgrim's Progress," ** Tristram Shandy,*' *'Tom 
Jones." These I mention particularly, because I have 
made several attempts at each, but never could get 
beyond a few pages. They seem to me to have every 
fault possible, especially the greatest of all — they are 
dull, desperately dull.'(!) You know he hates poetry 
and music, and is (if possible) a Tory of a deeper dye 
than either you or I. I think thats very funny, that 
the more he reads about Milton the less he likes him ! 
He finishes his note : ' That must be a grand old place 
you have been visiting. It is four hundred years old, 
or close upon it. Sir Michael Blount of Maple 



9^aple S)url)am 



403 



Durham Gurney got the estate of Maple Durham 
Chawsey in 1481, and shortly after built the fine 
house you speak of (Burke). I hope you made a few 
sketches of old things in it. F. M.'(!) 
" Yours ever, 

"Charles S. Keene." 





CHAPTER XIII. . 
1889 — 1 89 1. 

Rlieunutism and dyipq>sia.— Horror <rf' tobacco. — CotuBge un- 
der tuffering. — Gives up Chelsea studio. — Hii acctiinatoted ** Ket" 
— "The Daily Graphic" — A ray of hope.;— Letter, December 16, 
1889. — Tobacco-phol»a gone. — Letter, Januaiy 11, 1890. — L ett er, 
March ai, 1S90. — "An ominoui and disheartening symptom." — 
Letter, August 8, 1890. — Letter, August 19, 1890.^ — ^Vints of 
friends. — A dozen black puddings. — Letter (undated) to Sir 
John Millais. — Mr. Molman Hunt's account ofhisvisit.— 
a dying man." — Letter, November 36, 1891. — ** . 
able long time a-dymg."— " Smashing attadu."— The last letter. — 
Death. — A solemn requiem. 

^^^^^^^HE beginning of the year 1889 was 
I marked by increasing rheumatic and 
' dyspeptic symptoms. 

For a year or two, as we have seen, 
Keene had been warned by unmistakable signs that 
he was not the strong man he had been, and now 
was to begin that constant and heroic struggle with 
pain and weakness of a very distressing nature 
which, after two years, was to culminate in death. 

Writing to Mr. Harral, then in the West Indies, 
on the 1 2th of May, he says : " 1 take the chance to 
send you a greeting line, though I have nothing very 




e5^^ 







^f^5¥ffS^^lH 




>, 



STUDY OF A TREE, 



4o6 CJarleg lieene 



pleasant to write about on my own account, having 
been down and up and down again with rheumatism 
ever since Christmas. The slightest accident of 
weather would cripple me for days, and my last bout, 
that I am only just mending from, was, from being 
complicated with dyspepsia, very crushing, and has 
left me quite a sorry invalid." 

Again, in a further letter : ** The doctors pronounced 
my case one of intense dyspepsia, that had been 
coming on for some time, when it culminated about 
three months ago. I suddenly took a horror of 
tobacco, and the taste has not returned since ; I wish 
it would, and then 1 should be reassured I was 
getting better.'* 

He is, however, courageous over his sorry state, 
and writes on July 27 in a joco-serious strain to Mr. 
Crawhall : '* My shrunken thighs, hollow and wrinkled 
with the loss of fat . . . put me in mind of Albert 
Durer's * Anatomies'; otherwise, Tm better and not 
depressed." And again : '* The tobacco taste has not 
come back yet, though 1 expect it will soon, as my 
appetite is improving, and I eat more at meals ; that's 
one reason I dread going into the country. What 
are you to do there if you can't smoke ? In town 
you can divert yourself in many ways. The last 
time I was at the Suffolk coast I and my friend used 
to play dominoes till we were blind every evening, 
for lack of books, etc." 

About the same time he wrote to Mr. Harral : 
'' Here at home I can crawl down and sit by the fire 
till the pains relax, with my books and toys round 



tICobacco l^orror 407 



me, so I'm daunted about going out of town. . . . 
I've no doubt the air of Felixstowe would benefit us 
if we plucked up courage — * there's the rub/ " 

And so he went on, sometimes better and some- 
times worse, tempted at times to go and see what 
change of air would do for him, but again shrinking 
from the discomfort of one of his severe attacks 
away from home. 

He was not yet wholly confined to the house ; 
indeed, at times, would dine with an old friend, and 
look in at the club, but he found the effort almost 
more than he could bear. The tobacco horror still 
was strong upon him too. and he missed terribly the 
customary solace of his pipe ; '' I suppose,'* he says, 
" this answers to the * delirium tremens ' of the 
stimulant imbiber." 

At this time he would seem to have had but little 
hope of his ultimate recovery, and, with the deter- 
mination so distinctive of all he did, he made up his 
mind that there was no further object to be gained by 
retaining his studio, and forthwith gave his landlord 
notice. On August 19 he writes: " I have made a 
beginning in the disposal of ' Ket * ^ from the Chelsea 
den. — It *gars me grue,' rather. It says Finis so 
forcibly." Again to Mr. Crawhall : *'And now IVe 
to think about getting rid of my accumulated ' Ket * 
at Chelsea. It must be done sooner or later; but 



* A Northumbrian word, meaning ** carrion, useless lumber," etc. 
Mr. Crawhall had happened to use the word in correspondence, 
explaining its meaning, and Keene, with his fondness for quaint 
terms, appropriated and constantly used it. 



4o8 Cftacletf lleene 



> 



there are certain old * properties' that have been 
of infinite use to me, that Tve an affection for, 
and which I shall part with regretfully — eg,, an old 
ragged weather-beaten poacher's velveteen shooting 
coat, an Irish coat [sketched], a dummy horse and 
saddle, breeches, boots, etc. — that I could never get 
the like again ! * Othello's occcupation's gone ' with 
them ! I was delighted with the inscribed * bane.' 
It will adorn my chimney shelf in company with 
another ' bane ' you gave me, a horse's vertebra 
painted in the semblance of a nonconformist 

preacher I went yesterday to the Spanish 

Exhibition — not very Spanish, except a band of 
guitar players, and three women, one very pretty, 
who sang in a nasal tone. One of the dancers, 
a plain, common-looking wench, directly she stood 
up and began dancing, throwing her arms about 
with the castanets, was transformed into * a thing 
of beauty.' I shall go again and try and find some- 
thing Spanish to send you." 

A month or two later he finally cleared out of the 
studio, and wrote to Mr. Harral : *' I had a hard week 
packing up, destroying and dispersing the accumula- 
tions of years. Luckily I was mostly pretty well at 
the time, and so got through it." 



To Joseph Craivhall, Esq. 

'' 112, Hammersmith Road, 
" West Kensington. 

"a-/. [5], 1889. 

** Dear Crawhall, 

'' I've cleared out of the Chelsea studio, after a 



lLeabe0 Cl)el0ca ^tu&io 409 



hard week of packing up and dispersing my proper- 
ties, books, prints, drawing-boards, etc., etc., that IVe 
been accumulating since I was a boy. Luckily I 
was pretty well during this time, and free from rheu- 
matism. The last two days I've been crippled at 
home. My den here is so filled up with bookshelves, 
Tve been obliged to hang most of my prints and 
drawings on the staircase, which, 1 expect, when 
IVe finished, will be entirely covered — a very hetero- 
geneous lot. I have decorated my :3ister s room 
with the choice ones. This adjoins my den. Hay- 
don has been moving too, and Tm curious to see 
how he has managed to stow away his collection 
into a smaller house, 1 imagine, than his hitherto 
official residence in the Royal Hospital. Mine was 
nothing to his, and his books were mostly in noble 
glazed bookcases. He has taken a house at Barnes, 
not very far from me, at least it would not have 
been in former days, but Tm not so spry at walking 
now. I hope Barnes is all right ; 1 shall write to 
him. I had a letter from Craibe Angus this morn- 
ing, flattering — he seemed pleased with the scratch 
I made in his birthday album, and is going to send 
me an edition of his favourite Bur-rns. To-morrow 
is the Almanack dinner, but I don't feel quite up to 
it, so shall not go ; it's a stodgy feed — soup, fish, 
flesh, and fowl, etc. — and, as careful as 1 may be, I 
generally am tempted to exceed my ordinary ration, 
which I suffer for afterwards. My stomach is in 
such a queasy state, that a grain in excess puts me 
all wrong, and, as my appetite is improving, I am 



^^"■^'SfeT? ' 



410 C(idrte0 Iteme 



sometimes heedless on this point I liad a very 
kind letter from the Stevensons, askings mt up to 
Ach-na-cloich, but Fm afraid of it just now till Vm 
better. The long journey, and the protetbitity of 
damp weather and rain, daunts me. She says diey 
have had a very fine autumn, and that sKe has been 
very busy with visitors. I 'm very sorry I ^aoaot 
go, as, if you can keep out of excursions^ it is a very 
cheery house, and the landscape round about b 
enchanting. That award from Paris was radier a 
surprise to me, as I had forgotten I had anytluiig 
there. I did not send anything myself, but my 
friend Mrs. Edwards contributed some — It is a 
queer arrangement. They send you a cast^ gilt 
I believe, and if you wish for the gold nu^lal 
(proper) you can buy it for a price ! I don't think I 
shall invest ! Did you see that there is a project d a 
daily illustrated paper to be published in London ? 
W. L. Thomas, of the 'Graphic,' has something 
to do with it. I should prophesy there will be 
some money dropped about this. The weekly ones, 
I find, bore me rather ! Some money of mine 
dropped the other day — an American Railway, 
and my brother wrote home that he had sold them 
(at a loss), from the idea they might get worse, 
and the next two coupons were returned unpaid! 
the confounded swindlers ! The manager said he 
would buy some other (American) security with the 
cash. I wrote, NO — that I would put some more 
to the sum and would prefer Consols ! This was 
rather a 'facer' for my friend, who is a Radical, 



"SDailp (Brapljfc" 411 



and believes in American honesty. My friend Rich- 
mond has gone to Wells to paint the Bishop's por- 
trait, and then he goes to Durham. I hope he'll 
get over to Newcastle and call on you. Show him 
that little drawing from the Missal. 

" Kindest regards to Mrs. C. and the boys and 
girls, if they are with you now, and am 

" Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

He further writes to Mr. Harral of the rumoured 
production of the ** Daily Graphic," about which he 
had received a circular : — 

" 1 know Tm disposed to be a pessimist, but I 
fear there'll be some good money dropped over this ! 
Have we not enough illustration with the two week- 
lies ? A good many people take them from habit, 
but- 1 should think their bulky accumulation must be 
a bore ; but perhaps I'm not a good judge, because 
I've been suffering from this state of paper repletion 
lately." 

In December he writes to Mr. Crawhall, still com- 
plaining that the tobacco-phobia continues. ** I have 
still the distaste for tobacco, and can no longer quote 
the stanza from my old friend Percival Leigh's ' Ode 
to Mrs. Grundy.' in * Punch,' years ago — 

* Grandeur sinking, 

Never thinking 
How your censure I provoke, 

Oft a cutty 

Pipe wiih smutty 
Bowl along the road I smoke ! ^ " 



413 Cljarles Itcene 




Then, on December the i ith, a little ray of hope 
shows itself. He is writing to Mr. Harral at Felix- 
stowe. "Will you," he says, "find out what. I'm 
indebted to the Golf Club up to the {M%sent dme 
and I'll look out. I like to cherish i&e idea I may 
some day be well enough to go over the Knks." 

How pathetic are hopes destined never to be 
fulfilled, read in the light of a full knowledge (^ 
events 1 

To Joseph Crawhall, Esq. 

" 113, Hammemnith Road, 
" Monday. 

\pec. 16, 18S9.] 
" Dear Crawhall, 

" .... I hope I may be able to please (sa^fy) 
myself about the 'Willie brewed' drawii^, but I'm 
doubtful. In the work I do now for 'Punch* I 
have to depend on old studies disguised and dodged, 
for I never could do any work without a foundation 
from nature, and now I've got no studio and have 
parted with all my properties I should find it difficult 
to work up an out-of-the-way subject (for me) like 
this; but I'll try, and perhaps in my old sketch-books 
I may find some notes. If not, you shall have the best 
' Punch ' drawing I can choose, or choose your own. 
1 have not read or seen B.'s book, but surely such a 
miserable ass could not write one. Did you see the 
dummy No. of the ' Daily Graphic,' with the Battle 
o' Waterloo ? I agree with you in doubting its success ; 
but we are such a pair of last century John Bulls as 
not to be good judges. 



"I've had an invitation to Birket Foster's for 
Christmas, but since I've been an invalid have got to 
be partial to my own bed and fireside, but I shall 
try and pluck up courage and go. I'll advise you in 
time ; at present I'm enjoying a convalescent immu- 
nity from pain, and feel braver — have been recom- 
mended the juice of lemons without sugar, and 
begin to believe in it. More anon. 

** Yours ever, 

** Charles S. Keene." 

7!:? Mrs, Macdonald, 

** 1 1 2, Hammersmith Road, 
"West Kensington. 

" Dec, 30///, '89. 

** Dear Mrs. Macdonald, 

*'.... I must explain how I have become an 
invalid, and will be as short as possible, as one (who 
has had a long spell of health and activity) is apt to 
talk on that theme to an undue extent. About last 
Christmas I was attacked by terrible bouts of quasi- 
rheumatic pains, which quite crippled me. After 
some time the doctors decided mine was a case of 
intense dyspepsia that had been coming on for years. 
These attacks of pain have continued all this year, 
laying me up on an average one week in every three ! 
so that I have got woefully lean, weighing barely ten 
stone. 

" My old friend Sir Alfred Garrod lays it on to my 
smoking, but he's an anti-tobacco man. The other 
local practitioner says, partly from my dining alone 
and always reading at meals ! 




414 C|)arle0 lieene 



" Voild tout! My object now is to get this weight 
back. In the autumn I gave up my studio at 
Chelsea, which was a cold, draughty place, not daring 
to face another winter there. Here at home in a 
"Small room^ which I can keep warm, I have be^i 
comparatively comfortable, but I think my working 
days are within * measurable distance ' of being over. 

" I am surrounded by books in my den, and, having 
a passion for reading, I am never at a loss for 
amusement and interest ; and I confess, in all this 
sickness, I have not lost my spirits or been depr^sed, 
so I hope my liver cannot be very much out of order. 

'* I think of you whenever I put my sugar in my 
coffee, remembering your warning, and, aware that it 
is not good for digestion, I try to control my sweet 
tooth. 

*' I carry in the middle of my heart the gratefuUest 
recollections of Aberdeen, my kind hosts there, the 
scenery and surroundings, the friends I met and 
those I casually became acquainted with, and the 
pleasant jaunts round the city 

** I have always recommended people to go there for 
choice of scenery, fine air, not too hot ! and pleasant 
inhabitants and no tourists. I've had no holidays 
like those I had there since. Tm afraid in this long 
budget there's o'er much about myself. Some day, 
when you have time, you will let me hear how you 
are ; and wishing you many Happy New Years, 

'' Believe me, 

** Yours very sincerely, 
** Charles S. Keene." 



Earner Better 415 



By the end of the year the tobacco horror had left 
him, and on New Year's Day he writes : " I'm much 
better, I hope, as Tve enjoyed a longer immunity 
from pain than hitherto all the year, but don't like to 
be confident. 1 take a whiff of tobacco too, of an 
evening, with increasing relish, which is a good sign." 

He had not, however, dared to pay his usual visit 
to the Birket Fosters, whose house, brimming over 
with good cheer, might have proved too great a 
temptation for his stomach, still, he says, ** in a queasy 



state." 



However, he feels more inclined to go about and 
see his friends, and his spirit is for a time more hope- 
ful, and the outlook altogether more cheerful. Of 
one of these visits he writes, with a naive touch of 
regret for past uncharitableness : ** I looked in at 

's last night. He asks after you. Years ago 

we used, 1 forget why, to think him rather a bore, 
but I suppose we grow more tolerant as we get 
older, and, he being booky and pointy, etc., we get 
on very well together now." 

To T. Bar7ics, Esq} 

"112, Hammersmith Road, 
" West Kensington. 

'''Jan. II, 1890. 

" Dear Barnes, 

** I admire your courage and resolution to get 
well. I try and ride that Great Horse, but he gives 
me awful croppers ; yesterday was a day of baneful 

^ T. Barnes, Esq., F.S.A., of Durham. I am indebted to Mr. 
Austin Dobson for this letter. 




4i6 Charles Icernc 

pain ; to-day I am stiff and crippled, but easy when 
I'm still. I expect it will be a day or two before I can 
get out, with the use of my legs. I hope when you 
get to town I may be able to come to that pleasant 
symposium you spoke of in your letter, but I'm 
obliged to be very careful in my diet, and 1 eat so 
little that I'm an outrage at a generous 'board.' 
You ought to see the Holbeins at the Tudor Ex- 
hibition ; though I have not been myself, yet 1 hear 
they are very good. ! hear Canon Greenwell is in 
town, but I have not hunted him up yet. I have 
lately taken to a whiff of tobacco in the evenings, 
but perhaps 1 overdid it, and my last bout of pain 
was the result. 1 hear of friends right and left 
being visited and suffering from the influenza, but 
haven't made the acquaintance myself yet, I'm 
developing into a gourmet. There's an Italian 
restaurant in London where they serve the cele- 
brated ' Bouillabaisse ' on Fridays. You remember 
Thackeray's ballad about it. (1 found it too good.) 
I'm not surprised that it inspired his muse! God 
save you and speed your mending. 
" Yours ever, 

" Charles S. Keene." 

To Henty Harral, Esq. 

" 112, Hammersmith Road, 
" W. Kensington. 

"March tz [1890]. 
" Dear Harral, 

" Sometimes when I'm at my very best, which is 
not often, I think of you and a sunny morning at the 



Bath/ but, when Fm cast down in my chair, crippled 
for a week at a time, so that I can hardly shuffle 
along, I can't help thinking I should be out of place. 
There's no hiding it, I'm an invalid * par excellence ' ! 
Two or three times a week I have a * bad night/ in 
which case there's no place like home and your own 
bed. I won't afflict you with details of my ailments. 
I can only hope patiently that I may be able to 
regain some of my lost weight and strength, and 
then I'll get out for a change of air like a shot. I 

heard of you from R , a very nice fellow, and all 

his family too. He lives at Campden Hill, has a 
fine collection, and is an authority on Turner's * Liber 

Studiorum.' Give my kind regards to Mrs. C 

and my thanks for her kind offer, but I shrink from 
staying with friends ; a groaning cripple (as I am 
often) could not be comfortable under these circum- 
stances The trees in London are budding 

awav fast, almond trees in blossom, and it's tantaliz- 
ing to be kept in, as I often am, and unable to take ad- 
vantage of the fresh air I've subscribed to 

the London Library, so I've no lack of books ; and 
sometimes a visitor calls in the evening, as, if I go 

to town, I generally get back to dinner. comes 

now and again, and talks incessantly the whole 

evening. Luckily I'm a good listener. comes 

sometimes. He gets awfully fat I've still a 

horror of tobacco, but my appetite is good, and my 
difficulty is not to over-eat, which is difficult some- 
times, as they make very appetizing dishes for me at 

' The Bath Hotel, Felixstowe. 
£ E 



41 8 Cliarlecr lieene 



home. I suppose the cuisine at the Bath is much 
the same, but I make such a poor ' knife and fork ' 
at dinner that Tm quite ashamed to feed out any* 
where. I have not dined at J. P. H.'s* for some 
time." 

In April he was startled to find his feet and ankles 
swollen. '' An ominous and disheartening symptom/' 
he writes, « which promises to confine me more than 
ever. In short, I cannot conceal from myself that 
Tm ' broken down * at present — a stranded wreck. 

"It looks charming out of doors, with the trees 
bursting into greenery, but I have to sit at home 
with my feet up. Luckily I have my whack of 
books subscribed [forj to the London Library. I 
cannot get up to the Club now, so I've no news to 

tell you ' Punch ' is now Bradbury, Agnew 

and Co., Limited ! " 

On April i8 he wrote to Mrs. Bennett: ■* Luckily 
I've a passion for reading, otherwise I don't know 
what I should do ; and I do not suffer from depres- 
sion, and hope, with care and patience, to get over 
this some day." 

To Mrs. Macdonald. 

" 112, Hammersmith Road, 
" West Kensington. 

" May SfA, 'go. 

"Dear Mrs. Macdonald, 

" I heard from Geo. Reid, who, with Mrs. R., 
called on me yesterday, that you were in town, and 

' Mr. J. P. Heseltine, with whom C. K. was in the habit of 
dining every Sunday evening. 



^ laedpfte 419 



I felt and expressed my strong desire to go up to 
town to see you, but alas ! Tm a sad invalid, and 
to-day so rheumatic and weak on my legs that I can 
scarcely move. Some fortnight ago my feet and 
ankles began to swell, since when Tve been obliged 
to lay them up. This cripples me materially. If 
Tm better to-morrow, I will try and call on you at 
the same time they mentioned. Tve been ill now a 
long time, and ought to be much depressed, but I 
manage to keep in pretty good spirits. 

•* I had an invitation to the R.A. banquet, but of 
course could not go — a great disappointment. 

" I often think of the old Aberdeen days, and of 
my pleasant visits to Kepplestone. 

** With a faint hope of being able to see you, 

'' I am, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

** Charles S. Keene." 



To Joseph Craw/tally Esq, 

**ii2, Hammersmith Road, 
"W. Kensington. 

[/ufu 2, 1890]. 

'* Dear Crawhall, 

** I heard the assemblage in the Park at the four- 
in-hand meet was something tremendous, I suppose 
from that rumour of some ladies having threatened 
to ride * en cavalier * ! I long for a lounge through 
the treasures of South Kensington, as I have not 
been there for years. Tm just now enjoying (!) one 
of my intervals of freedom from pain, and, at my age 



. *■ 



430 C|arle0 Itfene 



and state of health at present, diat's happiness. I'm 
gingerly going in for a little animal food with my 
porridge, which hitherto has not disturbed me, but I 
must not b^[in to boast I wish those icebergs in 
tibe Atlantic would dear away south. IVe no doubt 
that is the explanation of the shrewdness of the air 
from the S.W. which spdils this spring weather. 
Having so little ht on my bones it touches me up. 
Have you turned into the National Gallery yet, or 
the N. Portrait Collection ? I have never seen the 
latter. I assure you it is an act of the most Christian 
charity to call and have ' a crack * with- me in my 
sequtttration, and I hope, in your jaunte to town, 
you will break them now and then in my behalf. 
When I get stronger on my legs I shall cmne down 
upon you at Ealing. Love to alL 

** Yours ever, 

''Charles S. Keene. 

'' I return your Qub papers. Such a galaxy of 

military and ecclesiastical swells, I don't know a 
man Jack of them/* 

To Mrs. Edwards. 

** 1X2, Hammersmith Road, 
** W. Kensington. 

" Friday [Aug, 8, 1890]. 

" Dear Mrs. Edwards, 

** Thanks for the traveller s letters, etc. Poor 

Mrs. B ! I kept that short note of hers — could 

not destroy it. You might like to have it hereafter. 
I still keep better, i.e., no relapse, which I hope is 



* better ' for me. Candid friend I met the other day 
expressed a hope that I should *pull through'! I 
have noticed there is a certain clique whose cue it is 
to vilify Stanley. I do not know who Mr. Charles 
Hall is, but I'd make a bet he's a hot Radical ! but 
I've read Stanley's books, and I find evidence that 
he is a man of lofty courage and fortitude under 
misfortune, and with marvellous control over his 
feelings and natural passions — and with great com- 
passion and pity for the beastly savages who thwart 
and seek to kill him in the scientific pursuit he was 
engaged in, and, whilst starved and hunted by them, 
curbing the rage of his followers, who could have 
swept them off with firearms, and only using them 
in the very last resource to save their lives. If his 
temper and health have been impaired by what he 
has gone through, I don't wonder at it. 

" Yours ever, 

*' Charles S. Keene. 

** Hearty Sir John Millais and Holman Hunt 
called last Sunday ; the former was just off to his 
place in Scotland ; he said he would send me some 
grouse." 

To Mrs. Bennett. 

^^ Aug. 21, 1890. 

'' Your kind note quite cheered me up, though 
upon the whole, all through my illness, I have felt 
very little depression, and am very easily amused 
with reading, and seldom am in any pain. My 
greatest trouble is that I cannot walk without 



422 Cf^artnt Itfene 



fatigue, and am confined to the house and my 
chair. — I don*t think I've been nearer Clopton 
than Woodbridgei and have not read of the legend 
you speak of, although I pick up every book I can 
that treats of dear old Suffolk. You will find Dun- 
wich a queer old place. Fit^^erald thought it 
melancholy^ though he liked to go there. I hope 
you have read his letters ; they are charming to me^ 
as I can hear him talk in imagination. Wesdeton, a 
large village n^u* by, is picturesque. — I find this 
a very cold summer, though wearing all my winter 
dothes, but IVe so little fat on my bones. My 
appetite is very good and I sleep well, so I cannot 
complain. Tm too comfortable at home, with 
innumerable dodges and contrivances, to think of 
going away, and am just too sick to roug^ it at an 
hotel or lodging, though I know the magic of sea air. 
— I hope you will have a good harvest-time. How 
fond I should be of the animals if I lived at a farm 1 
Our only pet is an old dog of seventeen years. 
— I hope you will have fine weather at Dunwich. 
I used to stay there ; it was an awfully quiet place 
then, and we used to look on a visit to South wold as 
a roystering diversion " 

All through his illness many friends journeyed 
down constantly to Hammersmith to *'have a crack" 
with the invalid. Amongst them were Mrs. Ed- 
wards, Mr. Holman Hunt, Sir John Millais, Mr. 
Heseltine, Mr. Mills, and Mr. Heming, whilst Mr. 
Barnes and others would send from time to time 
a tasty teal, woodcock, partridge, grouse, or other 



l^olman l?unt'0 ipoted 423 

tempting dainty. One day he happened to mention 
to somebody his craving for a black pudding, which 
getting wind, they literally showered down upon him, 
to his dismay, by the dozen from all quarters of 
the town. 

To Sir John Millais, Bart, 

y Dear Sir John, 

'' I cannot thank you enough for the bonny 
partridges and for so kindly thinking of me, but IVe 
a poor bulletin to send. Have had a very bad 
week or more with pain and fever, and the latter 
demolishes all idea of time with me, but have 
managed to get comparative ease in a supine 
position and sleep, — but it*s terrible to have to 
write about oneself so. Holman Hunt came to 
see me the other day, and talked to me for an 
hour." 

Of this and other visits Mr. Holman Hunt sends 
me the following touching account : *' When I went 
to see him in his last illness, what was striking 
was his great composure in talking about the pro- 
spects of the issue. He did not at first dismiss the 
thought that he might be re-established in health 
under favourable circumstances, but he evidently 
recognized the probability of the reverse. 

** It would, I know, now seem idle to many to 
narrate that once, when he seemed disposed to take 
the less hopeful view, I cited some author who 
spoke with certainty of * the life beyond the grave.' 
* And do you really believe this ? ' he said. I 



'■-; " •, 



4H CtMirU0 Iteene 



answered with what appeared to me irresistiUe 
arjg^ments. He continued placidly, t>ut sadly, ' I 
can't think so/ Once we talked of Haydon's life. 
He knew Taylors yolumei but not the one by 
H.'s son« He agr^d in condemnation of TayWs 
low estimate of Haydon's character ; but, when I 
offered him the autobiography, he said, ' It is too 
painful ; I could not beal- it/ 

" One evening I had been delayed in my visits and 
k was near his meal-timc. When my name was 
announced his gaunt figure appeared in the passage, 
and he came forward, saying : ' Excuse a dying man, 
my dear Hunt ^ I am just having dinner brought 
up, and I cannot eat unless alone. Do come another 
evening, and a Htde earlier/ 

'^ These simple facts are all I can recount of hiis 
last days/' 

To Mrs* Macdonald. 

" 1 1 2, Hammersmith Road, 
"West Kensington. 

"&//. 12M, '90. 

" Dear Mrs. Macdonald, 

" The splendid white gooseberries came in fine 
order 

" You saw me sitting here, and, being in health, it 
seemed easy to you that I could get into a cab and 
boat and be conveyed to Aberdeen so easily. Alas ! 
no — I am soon fatigued ; cannot walk well from my 
ankles having swollen. 

" For the last ten days (though iVe been very stiff 
and rheumatic, partly from a nasty fall I had last 



Saturday) I've had to rouse myself to take a ride in 
a Victoria a kind friend put at my disposal. This 
was not all bliss, for, being stiff about the neck and 
shoulders, the elastic springs of the carriage would 
wobble my head about to my much discomfort, but I 
believe the fresh air I took did me good. 

** How kind it was of Sir John Millais to think of 
me — a grand fellow. ! 

'* I should so like to know all about the new por- 
traits. 

" I shall send you a bulletin soon. 

" Yours very sincerely, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

On November 26 he wrote to Mrs. Bennett : — 
** I hope you were amused with my friend Fitz- 
gerald's letters. They were a great attraction to me, 
from kindred tastes — artistic, social, musical — all 
round. ... I should have written to you before, but 
sickness makes me sluggish, and, being obliged to 
keep my feet up, I write in a constrained position. 
I am afraid I am not better. Infirmities increase upon 
me, but my appetite is so good and I sleep well, so 
that, like Charles 2nd, I shall have to apologize for 

being such an unconscionable long timea-dying 

*• You may very likely see my brother Harry at 
Ipswich. How I wish I could see the dear old place 
again, tho' changed as it is from its primitive 
picturesqueness as I first knew it. I hope some day 
I may get so much better as to be able to write more 
at ease. ' 



■ • • -% 



426 Cfiadetf Iteene 



And so it went on, attack after attack, and the 
pains waning very $lowly. Now and again there 
would be an interval, and an effort to get out and 
about ; but then would come '' a smashing attack of 
my rheumatic pains, this time in the shoulders and 
round the chest and ribs, so that sitting in a chair 
and reading ¥ras not easy/' 



To Mrs. AfacdomUd. 

" 112, Hammeismith Road, 
** West KensingKm. 

^ Ar., ia9o. 

" Dear Mrs. Macdonald, 

'' How kind of you to write me such a nice long 
letter, to which I, to my shame, am replying so tardily; 
but sickness and its adjuncts have often diverted me. 

** Sometimes after breakfast comes a succession of 
visitors at intervals, that leaves me very fatigued at 
the end of the day. The doctors tell me to eat as 
much as I can, and, as my appetite is good, I try to 
follow their directions, and I sleep very well. Such, 
with the exception of reading, seems an ignoble 
existence. 

** I was sorry enough I could not come with my 
sister to visit you this summer, but I could not be 
moved. She sends you her love. 

** Tm so feeble on my legs, I have to keep them up, 
which makes writing rather a constrained position ; 
I therefore make my letters by instalments. 

*' Winter has come down upon us like a Polar Bear! 
and the cold searches me awfully, having no fat on 



, I * 11 

my bones. I never felt it so sharply, but I console 
myself that we are within * measurable distance* of 
the shortest day 

"Sir John Millais is back, I suppose, in London 
now — dear old fellow, he sent me a brace of pheasants 
in the beginning of November. 

'* I am looking forward to Mrs. Oliphant's * Royal 
Edinburgh,' illustrated by G. Reid. I must have 
that, though my shelves are so full and I've the 
* London Library' to choose from (December — Ah I 
the newspaper gone, so I cannot guess the date). 
The doctors have put me on cod liver oil, which I 
believe in, if you can take it with a little vinegar 
and pepper. Think as shortly as you can of an 
oyster ! and eat a sardine to follow ! During the 
last ten days they have made my bedroom next 
door, which is comfortable, but it depressed me 
rather at first. I found the thirty-five steps to the 
top of the house onerous. The list of the Portraits 
now is very interesting. 

'* Yours ever sincerely, 

"Charles S. Keene." 

[Received December 9, 1890.] 

But almost enough of these letters. As we write, 
" Mr. Punch's "jovial countenance laughs out upon us 
side by side with these touching memorials, which 
bear upon them the touch of a vanished hand ; and a 
sob at the universal pathos of things chokes our 
answering laughter as we realize how the hearty 
showman himself must have cried o'nights as his 



*« " C||arlf0 %itnt 



mortal assessors dropped away from him one by 
one. 

One letter there is, however — the last and most 
pathetic of jdl» — almost too sacred for publicity, but 
without which the long series would be incomplete. 
During his last days^ when strength, both bodily and 
mental, had decreased to an alarming degree, he made 
straiuous efforts to remember his old friends, and 
gave instructions to his brother, who was in constant 
attendance at his bedside, r^^arding souvenirs to be 
haiKled to them. Amongst others, Mr. Robert 
Dudley, from whom he had lately received a letter, 
was upon his mind. He asked for pencil and paper, 
and wrote, in his blindness, diagonally across the 
sheet : — 

** Dear Dudley, 

"Too late to write to — write to~to — a dying 

man. 

" Your ever, 

Charles S. Keenene." 

The effort was too much, and from that time he lay 
still and awaited his end. One of the last things he 
said was, on hearing that there was deep snow on the 
ground, ** Oh ! what will the little birds do ? " 

So died, on the 4th of January, 1891, Charles 
Keene, watched over to the last, tenderly and 
devotedly, by an old servant, Mary Ann Smith, to 
whom he was much attached, and who alone 
he permitted to minister to his ever-increasing 
necessities. 



•r. 



»l - 



1 : ■ I 



'* . 



I ■ 

"..■ ■ • . . . • I 

^ .'■ !. ' : '. - •■: 

1 ['■ V I. '■'!'*■■■ 1 : 
' '. 1. • I ... I ... \ . : 

< »> , . . . . • I 



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* ;(.■ . 



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y^;- 






^«^^ "^^. 



SDeatli 429 

The " Punch '' poet sung of him — 

** Frank, loyal, unobtrusive, simple-hearted, 
Loving his book, his pipe, his song, his friend ; 
Peaceful he lived and peacefully departed, 
A gentle life-course with a gracious end." 

He was buried in Hammersmith Cemetery, on the 
loth of January, in the presence of many relations 
and friends, including most of his " Punch " colleagues. 

On the 2nd of February following the Moray 
Minstrels sang a solemn requiem in his honour, 
the company rising to their feet spontaneously, and 
silently resuming their seats at its close. Followed 
by Mendelssohn's " Beati Mortui," his old comrades 
sang the beautiful words of Kreutzer s Part Song — 

" Hark ! above us on the mountain 
Mournful tolls the funeral bell. 
While a shepherd's boy so gaily 
Sings below us in the dell ; 
Now the train, the steep ascending, 
Chaunt the chorus loud and clear ; 
Hush'd the shepherd's song of gladness 
As the sound comes o'er his ear. 
To their long home on the mountain 
All in turn consigned must be ; 
Simple shepherd, simple shepherd. 
Soon that bell shall toll for thee ! " 




CHAPTER XIV. 

LAST WORDS. 

No apologjr needed.— Of biognpben. — A biognp^, not a 
meoKHr. — Ita scope. — No complete bibliogntidij. — Ifr. W. L. 
Thomu.— The illiutn^ auauals.— Hr. Hallway's letter to *' TIk 
Time*." — "Round ttw TaMe."— "Hie sacrilege of iodecenqi'. — 
" A bow be it" — Hoiror of shaking hands. — Bogus plam-cake.— ;> 
Stealing a march on Mr. Holman Hunt — Estimate' of contem- 
poraries. — Mr.TennieL — Sir F. Leighton. — " A great but unknown, 
artist" — Across the Channel, a chorus of praise.— -The end. 

^ HERE is no abstract apology needed 

for writing the Life of Charies Keene, 

- but peiiiaps a word is due as to the. 

^^ privilege of doing so having fallen to 

the lot of one who never so much as set eyes upon 
him. The steps by which this was brought about 
do not concern the reader, but what does concern 
him is the question as to whether one who has been 
influenced by personal intercourse is best qualified 
to deal with the various episodes in a man's life, so 
as to present a true and impartial portrait of him, 
or an absolute stranger. 

The friend-biographer, with his prejudices and 
partialities, born of participation in many incidents 
■(quorum pars magna /nil), is known to us from 




€)E ]5iosrdpt)er0 431 



Boswell downwards, and his view of every particu- 
lar is tinged, for good or evil, thereby. Now, what- 
ever disadvantages the stranger-biographer may 
have, and they of course are many, he has the one 
inestimable advantage, so far as he possesses the 
judicial mind, of being able to weigh impartially 
the evidence, pro and con, of everything that is open 
to two opinions. Far be it from me to claim for 
myself the judicial quality in any special degree, 
but this much I will say, that I have been at the 
greatest pains, in the space of time at my disposal, 
to hear evidence on both sides of matters on which 
I have presumed to pass judgment. I approve of 
the matter, though not the manner, of BoswelFs 
reply to Mrs. Hannah More, when she appealed to 
him to show some reticence and mitigate some of 
the asperities of their departed friend. He said 
uncouthly, though not, I think, unjustly, that he 
would not cut off his (Johnson's) claws, nor make a 
tiger a cat, to please anybody. Happily, in our 
case, there were no claws to be cut off if I had 
wished, and I certainly had but a very manageable 
tiger, if indeed there was anything of the tiger at all, 
to deal with. So clearly indeed do I recognize this 
lack of asperities in the biography which lies behind 
me, that I feel it is due to the subject of it to point 
out that their absence is not owing to the partiality 
of a friend, but to the fact that the constituted in- 
quisitor, invested with powers of collecting and 
receiving evidence as plenary as those of a French 
'* procureur general,'* has failed to unearth any with 




43^ Charles l^rcnc 



which he might, had he so desired, have pandered 
to the growing modern appetite for sensationalism. 
This is my excuse for making allusion to the cir-- 
cumstances under which this biography has been 
undertaken. Memoir, as far as tlie writer is con- 
cerned, it is not. As regards some of the evidence 
adduced, however, the element of personal recollec- 
tion is not absent. Full opportunity has been afforded 
to many who knew the man to speak for themselves, 
besides which, ample means has been given to the 
public to read for themselves between the lines of, 
and to judge his character by, the artist's own 
letters. 

One word has to be said as to the scope of this 
biography. Tempting as it has been throughout, 
1 have avoided, as much as possible, all criticism of 
Keene's art Much that was ill-digested has already 
appeared, prompted by the adventitious fact of his 
death. Much, I am convinced, of &r greater valuer 
because prompted by the highest appreciation, will 
appear in the future, as men realize more and more 
what an irreparable gap his loss has made in the 
ranks of contemporary effort. That tribute should 
come from a far more competent quarter, and with 
the deliberation due to the importance of the subject. 

And now I propose to conclude by referring, 
somewhat discursively, to certain fugitive matters 
which have not in the course of this writing found 
convenient incorporation in the consecutive narrative. 

I have been at pains to discover, as far as possible, 
the particulars of the books which Keene was called 



flDf Jrregulac afllork 



upon from time to time to illustrate, and must con- 
fess to disappointment at the numerical result. 

Much work undoubtedly was done anonymously, 
and will come to be discovered as time goes on. 
Therefore I must confess that a bibliography of his 
work has yet to be compiled. Not that the list can 
ever be expected to be a very long one, for, when 




CARRIAGE HORSES. 



we consider the enormous amount of work done for 
"Punch." "Once a Week" and "The Illustrated 
London News," there does not appear to have been 
much time left for irregular productions. This is 
borne out by a letter written to me by Mr. W. L. 
Thomas, of " The Graphic." 

" For the last forty years," he says, " my friendly 
interviews with him generally wound up by my 
begging him to make some drawings for different 
publications with which 1 have been connected, and 

F F 



■• ■ i.^^F^^p'r'v^- 



434 CtiaHrtf Tknnt 



at his own price ; he always agreed, but the diaisii^ 
were never (or hardly ever) executed^ He always 
wished, in a half-hearted way, to do other work than 
drawings for ' Punch/ but the habit was too strong 
for him in the end/' 

It has been asserted that Keene worked fw &e 
Illustrated Annuals so much in vogue Jn die first 
half of the century, but of thi$ I have found no trace ; 
and Mr. Joseph Cundall, author of the series of 
arddes on "The Annuals of Sixty Years Ago,** 
which appeared in "The Publisha:s' Circular/' 
supports the opinion that the assertion is erroneous. 
'' I have," he writes, " looked through more than two 
hundred of ' The Annuals,*^ and am sure there is not 

* 

a drawing by Charles Keene in any one of them. In 
fact they were ' Over ' (except the last series of *,Tfie 
Keepsake') before Keei^c; was known in London.'' 
As instadcing, however, the kind of fugitive and 
unrecognized work which might reward the cardiil 
search of prints contemporary with his early years, 
the following letter, which appeared in " The 
Times " immediately after Keene's, death, is worth 
reprinting. 



"The late Charles Keene. 

" To the Editor of The Times: 

*' Sir, 

*' Almanacs, such as * Old Moore's,' 'Zadkiers/ 
etc., used to contain, and possibly still do, a wonderful 
illustration or * prophetic picture.' I have often heard 



acj l&ropljet 435 



it asked, * Who on earth are the designers of them ? ' 
I can answer the question as to one. Poor Charles 
Keene was. 

** One evening, upwards of forty years ago, I was 
sitting with the late George Ingelow, brother of the 
poetess, when in came Keene, and asked us to guess 
what commission he had just received. It was to 
design and draw on wood the * prophetic picture ' of 
one of the forthcoming almanacs. The great work 
was tackled then and there. 

** Never were three * fates' so merry over their 
dismal work as we. We wove the web, and Keene, 
in the character of Atropos, duly did the * cut.* 

** What a design it was ! Death, as a skeleton, poised 
his dart over a crowned hooded figure ; demons 
hauled on ropes fixed to a church ; a stately throne- 
seat tilted to its fall ; ships went down ; powder- 
magazines went up ; all the whole thing. 

" Was credit taken, I wonder, in the next year s 
almanac, as the custom was, for the accuracy of the 
predictions ? 

''In your obituary notice you mention Keene s 
drawings of Volunteer subjects in ' Punch.* Many of 
these contain his own portrait and those of friends ; 
notably of the late William Ingelow (another brother 
of Miss Jean Ingelow), at whose funeral a few years 
ago I last saw Charles Keene in health. 

*' Will you allow me to add that you touched a most 
true note in your leader of to-day (Tuesday) when 
you write that Charles Keene's ' honest, innocent, 
and kindly gaiety humiliated nobody and wounded 



r 



436 C!)arics ISeene 




nobody,' and that he was ' irreustibly humorous and- 
never unmannerly.' 

" I am. Sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"J. G. HOLLWAT. 
** Westmiiuter, Jan. 6." 

Before passing from this subject, mention should 
be made of " Round the Table j Notes on Cookery- 
arid Plain Recipes, with a Selection of Bills of Fare 
for every Month," by "The G. C"; Ptuladelj^iia, 
J. B. Lippincott and Co. ; a book written by a friend 
of Keene's, and containing sketches ci "How to 
Truss Fowls," and "How to Bone Fowls," and 
" How to Cut Up Fowls," drawn by C K., but 
unsigned. They are but inconsiderate trifles, but 
for comfJeteness' sake, as far as possible, must be 
put on the record.* 

A last word here as to a certain phase of Keene'v- 
character. No inention has been made of the man's 
pure-mindedness, without that affected niceness now- 
a-days prevalent, which was so distinguishing a colour 
of his personality. Easy as it was to make him 
withdraw into himself, nothing was so certain to have 
this effect as an indecent remark or an immodest 
story. Far too retiring as he was to set himself up 
as a preacher of morals, or indeed of anything else, 
he yet had that proper pride which makes its resent- 
ment of coarseness felt, and, to quote one of those 

' Since going to press I learn from Mr. John Leighton, F.S.A., 
that Keene drew " Luther on his way to Worms," for vol. i. ot 
" The Lyra Germanica." 



Cljaracter 437 



beautiful " Punch " prefaces seldom, if ever, read, he 
ever bore in mind that great truth of one of earth s 
greatest spirits, that " indecency is sacrilege to the 
majesty of human nature." 

As another example of his proper pride, it may 
be mentioned that, incapable of such a thing to 
others, he would never brook an intentional slight 
put upon himself. Of a brother brush he once 
wrote : — 

** When this exalted party came near me, he made 
me a pompous bow, I having too quickly and simul- 
taneously held out my hand. He took it this time 
but the next — a bow be it." 

Again, was anyone at any time untruthful to him, 
he would never trust, nor, indeed, where practicable, 
have anything to do with that man again. He said 
nothing, but quietly ignored his existence. 

Keene never married, though not unsusceptible to 
the charms of female society. " Her mother," he 
wrote of a young lady, " was a playmate and juvenile 
sweetheart of mine." And in later years there is 
reason to suppose that thoughts of becoming a 

■ 

Benedict did pass through his mind ; but of the 
writing of What Might Have Been there would be 
no end, and, as Nathaniel Hawthorne says in his tale 
of" David Swan," "we hear not the airy footsteps 
of things that almost happen." 

A peculiarity of Keene's, which has not been 
mentioned, was the great horror he had of shaking 
hands all round in the morning. His friends, coming 
to recognize this, honoured the custom in the 



/ 



* breach " when he was a guest. One friend, 
however, there was with whom he was often, by 
circumstances, compelled to breakfast, and who 
for some reason or other perversely insisted upon 
its observance. Keene was determined not to be 
victimized, and, being at the same time desirous 
of avoiding the appearance of rudeness, hit upon 
the ingenious plan of coming down every morning 
with both hands loaded with books, whereby the 
practice became a physical impossibility. 

Keene throughout his life had an inexhaustible 
and boyish love of fun. 

Companions at Cromer will remember, for example, 
how he would take pieces of bread and paint them 
to represent slices of the most appetizing plum-cake. 
These he would place at intervals along the low 
walls, and watch with glee the effect produced on the 
varying degrees of cupidity of passing children. 

Another example, perhaps not altogether convinc- 
ing, but still worth recording, may be quoted from a 
letter from Mr. Holman Hunt to me :- — 

" One incident of about ten years since amused 
me. We both lived at Kensington, and had studios 
at Chelsea. One morning I had reason for wishing 
to arrive at work as quickly as possible, and I had 
also a great disinclination at the time to talk about 
my particular task in hand. When one-third on the 
way to Chelsea, I saw Charles Keene walking very 
statelily and slowly just in front of me. I deter- 
mined to avoid overtaking him, and I took a short 
cut and ran along an unfrequented lane to get well 



Eepu ration 439 



ahead of him, which seemed easy enough, but when 
I got out into the Fulham Road, to my surprise, 
there he was, marching solemnly before me at the 
same distance ahead which he had been earlier in 
the journey. 

'* It was evident to me that he had seen my attempt 
to get in front, and that, by means of a Hansom, he 
had outstript me, and for joke landed again where 
he knew he would appear miraculously still taking 
the lead. A few weeks later, after several walks 
together to the point of parting, he for his, and I for 
my studio, he came to see my work, which he greatly 
encouraged me with by his interest ; but neither 
then nor at any other time did the occasion arise to 
inquire how he stole the march on me in the race 
which was one as between the tortoise and the hare, 
in which the first beat." 

I cannot, however, deny that there is some sus- 
picion in my mind that the true solution of the 
mystery may have been that Mr. Hunt's ** short 
cut *' was a deceptive one. 

A few words must here be said of the estimate in 
which Keene was held by his contemporaries. 
That Mr. Tenniel expresses the general feeling of 
those who were brought into contact with him will 
not be contradicted. 

** His death," he writes to me, "was a real sor- 
row, not only to his colleagues, but to all who knew 
him, and his loss to * Punch,' as I need hardly say, 
irreparable." 

And the tribute paid to his memory by Sir F. 



/ 



440 Clrailee %ant 



Leighton at the Royal Academy Banquet, 1S91, 
should not be foi^otten : — 

" Every phase of artistic energy," he said, " must 
be watched with interest from within these walls, 
and the death of every true worker who has left 
his mark on any of its branches must awaken r^^t 
among us. It is not possible for me to follow one by 
one these too frequent losses ; nevertheless, a loss will 
from time to time be sustained by the nation which 
I cannot pass by in silence; and such a loss has 
recently befallen us through the death of that de- 
lightful artist and unsurpassed student of character, 
Charles Keene. Never have the humours of the 
life of certain classes of Englishmen been seized 
with such unerring grasp as in his works; never 
have they been arrested witii a more masterly, 
artistic skill. Among the documents for the study 
of future days of middle-class and of humble English 
life, none will be more weighty than the vivid 
sketches of this great humourist." 

But what can we say of the appreciation shown 
for his work by the public for whom he laboured 
incessantly for thirty years ? A popular evening 
newspaper found it necessary to commence an article 
on "A Great but Unknown Artist" with these 
words : " Some few weeks ago a man named Charles 
Keene died in Hammersmith." And those words 
measure the fame which is, in this country, accorded 
by the masses to the man of whom " Punch," with 
pardonable pride, but in terms which the above fact 
proves to have been hyperbolical, spoke as " the 



)Dut)[tc 0pmJon 



441 



inimitable Charles Keene, universally acknowledged 
to Jbe the greatest master of ' Black and White' 
technique who ever put pencil to wood-block!" 




As a matter of fact, this acknowledgment, far from 
being universal, came only from a very limited section 
of the community. 



442 Clarletf Berne 



To the public his work was so "easy*' and so 
*' coarse/' that there seemed to them nothing won*- 
derful in it at all. It would have astonished them, 
and does indeed now astonish them, to.be told that 
there is not, nor indeed has been, according to the 
opinion of some competent to judge, since the days 
of the elder Holbein, another who could give us 
work equal in delicacy to that of Charles Keene. 
The fact is, that we are so overwhelmed with im- 
mature work which bears the blatant impress of 
effort on its face, that we are in danger of foigetting 
that the greatest art conceals itself. 

But, after all, how can we blame the public when, 
after having such a man amongst 'us for all these 
years, those who profess to catalogue eminent men 
and women of the time ignore the existence of ^e 
greatest of all our black-and-white artists ? 

It will hardly be credited, but a. glance will prove 
that Keene's name does not appear in tlie list of Mr. 
Humphrey Ward's contemporaries. 

But even worse than this has to be said. Mr. 
Ruskin, who for so long spoke as the oracle of 
English Art, did not find that Keene was worthy 
even to be mentioned, when he took upon himself to 
discuss the " Punch " artists ! 

On the other hand, what do we find when we cross 
the Channel ? A chorus of unstinted praise. 

In ** L'Artiste " Bracquemond pays a splendid 
tribute to him as a landscape artist. ** La Chronique 
des Arts '' compares him with Menzel and Degas, 
and ** Art Moderne " with Degas andPizarro. True, 



iforeiffn flDpinion 443 

a chorus of praise also rose from the better class of 
English journals after Keene*s death, but France 
had discovered and written about him years before 
his countrymen even asked who " C. K." was. 

Had Keene ever looked for posthumous renown, 
which he certainly never did, he would, I am per- 
suaded, like Francis Bacon, have bequeathed his 
soul to God, his body to the earth, and his fame to 
foreign nations. 

Keene's was a plain, unvarnished life, and in these 
pages it has been the endeavour to tell a plain, un- 
varnished tale in keeping therewith. The keynotes 
to his character seem to have been his unaffected 
love of all that was true, and honest, and pure, as 
he saw it, combined with what Mr. George Meredith, 
in writing to me of him, has aptly called ** his trans- 
parent frankness." Reserved in the matter of con- 
versation he was, as we have seen, but from those 
who really knew that 

" Curl-crowned head, the knitting 
Of supple hands behind it as he sat, 
The quaint face-wrinkling smile like sunshine flitting, 
The droll, dry comment '* 

there was not much concealed or disguised. 

" Each thought was visible that rolled within, 
As through a case the figured hours are seen : 
And heaven did this transparent veil provide. 
Because he had no evil thought to hide." 

THE END. 



/ 



APPENDICES. 




APPENDIX A. 

Tales, Poems, etc., Illustrated by C. K. in 
" Once a Week." 

GOOD Fight. CltarUs Reade. Serial. 

Guests at the Red Lion. 

A Fatal Gift. G. U. S. 

Uncle Simpkinson and Mrs. Mount Ele- 
phant. 

The Gentleman in the Plum-coloured Coat. 
Langton Wold. 

Benjamin Harris and his Wife Patience. By H. K. 
The Foundation of my Picture Gallery, 
A Merry Xmas. 

Mr. Lorquison's Story. F. C. Burnand. 
Where is the Other .' Stewart Harrison. 
The Return of the Firefly. Poem by .^. M. 
A Night on the Ice, Andrew Mitchel. 
Evan Harrington, G. Meredith. Serial. 
Volunteer Day in 1803, 

The Emigrant Artist, A. Stewart Harrison. 
Sam Bentley's Christmas. 
The Mazed Fiddler. Bridges Adams. 
In Re Mr. Bubb. / Speight. 
The Beggars' Soliloquy, Poem by G. Meredith. 



44^ apprnQfjK: SL 



Mundic and Barytes. . 

A Model Strike. Dution Cook. 

Two Norse Kings. Poem by Walter Thamtury* 

The Revenue Officer's Story. /. Harwood. 

The Fainter Alchemist. Dutton Cook. 

Business with Bokes. Dutton Cook. 

Adalieta. Poem by Edwin Arnold. 

Lilian's Perplexities. Dubourg. Serial. 

The Patriot Engineer. Poem by G. Meredith, 

The Woman I loved, and the Woman who loved Me. 

Serial. 
My Schoolfellow Friend. 
L^end of Carlisle : the Scottish Gate. Poem by M. E. C. 

Walcott. 
A Pc^e from the History of Kleinundengreich. 
Miss Daimon. C, E. Bockus. 
A M}^terious Supper Party. 
Vemer's Pride. Mrs. H. Wood. Serial. 
The March of Arthur. Poem by Tom Taylor. 
The Bay of the Dead. Poem by M. G. W, 
My Brother's Story. 

The Viking's Serf. Poem by Walter TAomAufy. 
The Heirloom. Serial. 
The Old Shepherd on His Pipe. Poem by F. C. Bumand, 



APPENDIX B. 

List of Translations by Charles Keene of First 
Thoughts and Original Sketches by Joseph 
Crawhall, with Dates ok their Appearance 
IN the Pages of " Punch." 

September 6, 1873. A Narrow Escape. 

December 16, 1876. Happy Thought. 

August 4, 1877. Not Proven. 

September 8, „ Wet and Dry. 









appenfiir B 447 


September 


15. > 


877. 


Rural Simplicity. 


>» 


22, 


tt 


Sacrifice. 


October 


6, 


tt 


Never say Die. 


November 


3. 


»♦ 


Plain to Demonstration. 


it 


10, 


)» 


A Modern Athenian. 


» 


10, 


>> 


Strange effect of Sea-Air. 


fi 


17. 


>» 


Science in Sport made Refreshment 
in Earnest. 


December 


IS. 


»» 


At the Aquarium. 


ti 


29. 


>> 


Hard Times. 


February 


9, J 


878. 


An Untimely Expose, 


if 


23. 


» 


Microscopy of the Million. 


June 


15, 


tt 


Titles to Distinction. 


** 


29. 


• 


Second Thoughts. 


fuly 


6, 


»> 


Safe. 


» 


13. 


)) 


Put to the Rout. 


» 


20, 


tt 


Zeal. 


August 


10, 


tt 


Warranted. 


September 


• 7. 


>> 


An Uncanny Order. 


>> 


21, 


If 


Revenge ! 


November 


30, 


»> 


The Hard-headed Breed. 


>• 


30, 


>» 


Literal. 


A Imauack 


t 


1879. 


The Commissariat. 


March 


15. 


»> 


Shouther to Shouther. 


April 


5. 


>» 


Obvious. 


June 


21, 


>» 


Reassuring. 


August 


16, 


tt 


Desecration ! 


November 


8. 


tt 


Volumes ! 


December 


6, 


tt 


Cutting! 


yt 


13. 


tt 


At the Cattle Show. 


ft 


20, 


tt 


Inopportune. 


tt 


27. 


tt 


The Commissariat. 


Almanack, 


1880. 


Comminatory. 


January, 


10, 


tt 


Judging by Appearances. 


» 


17. 


tt 


The Weather and the Crops. 


.. 


24. 


tt 


Support. 


February 


21, 


tt 


Lex Ta lion is. 



( 



448 






appeniifr B 




February 


28, 


1880. 


The Unseen World. 




f» 


28, 


» 


A Predestinate R.A. 




March 


6, 


„ 


In vino Veritas, - 




ii 


I3> 


„ 


Local Option. 




» 


13, 


M 


Flattery. 




AprU 


17, 


„ 


Reaction. 




W 


24, 


„ 


Hies Angus to: 




May 


I, 


„ 


Save me from my Friends ! 




>9 


8, 


„ 


Standing no Nonsense. 




» 


22, 


„ 


Triumph. 




n 


29, 


„ 


(No title), page 242. 




if 


29, 


„ 


Kather too much of a Treasure. 




June 


5, 


„ 


Flattery. 




If 


12, 


,, 


A Practical Application. 




m 

9 

ff 


19, 


„ 


Complimentary. 




99 


26, 


», 


Live while you may. 




99 


26, 


„ 


Thifsty Souls. 




July 


3, 


„ 


An awful Crammer. 




» 


17, 


„ 


A Little Jesuit 




»» 


31, 


99 


Nemesis. 




August 


7, 


„ 


Conclusive ! 




19 


14, 


„ 


Experimental Philosophy. 




» 


21, 


„ 


A Collision. 




» 


21, 


„ 


Repudiation. 




September 


• 4, 


f» 


(No title). 




91 


25, 


ft 


Winged. 




tt 


25, 


tt 


A Qualified Judge. 




October 


2, 


tt 


The Gentle Craft. 




If 


1 6, 


», 


A Regular Tartar. 




ft 


i6, 


tt 


Disturbance ! 




ft 


30, 


ft 


NoH Ben {Lomond) Trovato, 




November 


20, 


tt 


Accidents will Happen. 




ft 


20, 


tt 


A thorough Unbeliever. 




December 


II, I 


880. 


Uncompromising. 




ft 


18, 


,» 


Business. 




Almanack, i 


881. 


Most Unfortunate. 




II 




ti 


Tableau Vivant, 










jlppentit]: B 449 


Almanack y 


1 881. 


The Last Resource. 


tf 


»> 


Culture, 1 88 1. 


99 


)» 


De Minimis. 


February 26, 


» 


A Testamentary Disposition. 


26, 


» 


Badinage. 


March 12, 


>f 


A Note and Query. 


April 2, 


>, 


Si non e vero, etc. 


99 


»> 


Popular Fallacies. 


May 21, 


)» 


Optics. 


June 1 8, 


>» 


Harmony. 


25, 


»> 


A Blank Day. 


July 16, 


9» 


Ground Game. 


30» 


» 


The Anti-Semitic Movement. 


August 20, 


>l 


Denudation. 


27, 


>» 


Plethora. 


September 10, 


» 


Walton's Complete Bungler. 


October i, 


W 


Contumacious. 


» 8, 


*f 


A Dilemma. 


IS, 


l> 


Another Chance Gone 1 


February 25, 


1882. 


Solicitude. 


March 11, 


*l 


Lapsus Lingua. 


^(TJy 6, 


"-. 


Shocking ! 


A/^' 8, 


>l 


Opposition. 


August 12, 


>> 


A C16ture. 


19, 


9> 


The Scot Abroad. 


September^ 


*> 


Irresistible. 


30» 


99 


Cantankerous. 


October 7, 


>» 


By Proxy. 


21, 


>> 


Disenchantment. 


28, 


» 


Coals ! 


November 4, 


9» 


Against the Grain. 


4, 


» 


Rallying. 


December 2, 


>l 


(No title), page 257. 


January 6, i 


[883. 


Perdu. 


20, 


» 


Art Intelligence. 


27, 


>l 


Literal. 


February 10, 


»> 


For Example. 



G G 



i 



450 


17. > 




flppmbfjc S 


P§hnuay 


883. 


The Commentators. 


n 


17. 


II 


Shades, Various. 


M&fW 


3. 


If 


Ambiguous. 


H 


16, 


$f 


Beware! 


II 


la 


n 


Enfant TerrMi. 


It 


17, 


n 


(No title), ps^e 122. 


II 


34. 


if^ 


. A Promising Son-in-Law. 


fl 


34. 


>• 


It's an 111 Wind, etc. 


April 


7. 


II 


Gratifying. -. 


Mty 


»ft 


II 


Conscience. 


If 


a6. 


II 


Exacerbation. 


n 


26, 


II 


Sophistical. 


Jum 


«. 


n 


Detraction. 


Jufy 


14. 


II 


Nem. Con. 


• 

11 


ai. 


II 


Courage ! 


II 


.38. 


If 


Lucid. 


August 


4. 


1* 


Popular Fallacies. 


If 


II, 


n 


Assuring 1 


II 


18, 


•w 


Incorrigible. 


II 


18, 


II 


For Example. 


Nwemb€9 


• 3. 


If 


Detected! 


n 


3. 


II 


Consolation. 


fl 


17, 


n 


Safe bind, safe find 1 


II 


17, 


If 


(No title), page 239. 


»» 


24, 


f, 


Poor Sweepar, Sir ! 


December 


I, 


9, 


Upon the Mart. 


January 


12,1 


[884. 


(No title), page 23. 


February 


2, 


,» 


A ready-made Rejoinder. 


» 


9, 


), 


A Realist 


>f 


16. 


>» 


Verb. Sap, 


May 


24, 


,f 


A Veteran ! 


December 


) 


>f 


The Fitness of Things. 


„ 


20, 


,» 


Places aux Dames ! 


February 


28, 


1885. 


Backsliding. 


* July 


17. 


1886. 


Sarcastic Old Thing ! 


ft 


31, 


If 


Capacity ! 


August 


14. 


,» 


The Bills of Mortality. 










aippenliij:. B 451 


October 


2, 


1886. 


The Bar-rd of A-y-von. 


If 


1 6, 


>» 


The Canine Scare. 


>) 


23. 


»> 


Surplusage. 


November 


• 20, 


» 


A Hiidlan' joke — very. 


December 


25. 


ff 


Shopping ! 


January 


15. 


1887. 


Taking Stock. 


February 


19. 


>» 


Wholesale. 


March 


5. 


» 


The Penny Toys. 


April 


2, 


>f 


For the Third Time of Asking. 


>» 


9. 


>l 


The News. 


»> 


23. 


>» 


Rural Felicity. 


May 


7. 


>» 


Making a Clean Breast of it. 


»> 


14, 


W 


The Amateurs. 


»» 


21. 


»» 


Landed. 


June 


4. 


l» 


The Force of Habit. 


>♦ 


". 


f> 


To be Quite Accurate. 


July 


1 6, 


» 


The Provincials. 


August 


13. 


f) 


Anthropophagous. 


.. 


27. 


»» 


In the Cause of Art. 


September 


3. 


>> 


A Reminiscence of the Very Dry 
Weather. 


1. 


24. 


»» 


The State of the Game. 


October 


I. 


>» 


Sagacity. 


.. 


8, 


» 


Ichabod ! 


.» 


15. 


n 


Unco Guid ! 


November 


5. 


f» 


Likely to get on in Life. 


December 


3. 


»> 


Sables. 


.. 


17. 


)» 


A Festive Prospect. 


Almanack, l 


[888. 


A Protest. 


». 




»» 


Great Expectations. 


f. 




>) 


The Ubiquitous. 


January 


28, 


»» 


Lapsus Linguce, 


March 


31. 


>» 


Brass. 


April 


21, 


f) 


Two Views of It. 


May 


19. 


ft 


Oh, tax 'em, by all means ! 


June 


23. 


>) 


Might be Worse! 


July 


21, 


>» 


In Case of Accidents ! 



45» 



Si99ttimp & 



««• 



Angust 4,] 


[888. 


35, 


ff . 


S^tember 22, 


•f 


(k^ber 13, 


l> 


NwembiT 3, 


ff 


December 8» 


ff 


Janmary 26,] 


r889. 


February % 


ff 


March 2, 


ff 


23, 


ff 


Jf^r 1 1, 


ff 


/iMir 22» 


ft 


Sepiember 7, 


ff 


^it 


ff 


28, 


ff 


OcU^er 12, 


n 


November 2, 


ff 


16, 


J* 


23, 


ff 


■ » 23, 


ff 


Dutmbtr J, 


ff 


14. 


f» 


21, 


tf 


January il, i 


[890. 


25, 


» 


February 22, 


»f 


i/dir<:>i 1 5, 


11 


^/nV 5. 


» 



Sharp's the Word I 

De Gusiibus, etc. 

Pursuit of Knowledge. 

ReaUstia 

That Nasty Orange PeeL 

An Open Secret 

Undaunted. 

Shoppy. 

The Fourth Estate. 

The Coming Exhibition. 

Proportions. 

Compliments. 

Mems. for the Moors. 

Mems. for the Moors. 

Irresistible. 

Ground Game. 

Deceivers Ever. 

A Clean Breast of it 

Is it a Failure ? 

Exclusive. 

Every Excuse. 

A Financial Crisis. 

Litera Scripta, 

Tangible. 

Treatment. 

In Kind. 

Appreciative. 

At the *' Zoo." 



APPENDIX C. 

From the '^ Journal of the Society of Arts ^' March 27, 1885, 
pp. 498-9. Dr. A. J, Ellis's Lecture " On the Musical 
Scales of various Nations'* 

" (2) The Highland Bagpipe. It will seem strange to intro- 
duce this instrument among the Arabian ; but the bagpipe 
is found sculptured at Nineveh. It was possibly brought 



> 



jappenDijc C 453 



to Europe during the Crusades, long after the deaths of 
Zalzal and AI Farabi, but before the introduction of the 
Arabic scale of seventeen (or nineteen) notes to the octave- 
And it seems to have had that Zalzal scale already noted, 
viz. : — 

I 204 II 155 III 143 IV 204 V 151 VI 143 VII 204 VIII 
o 204 355 498 702 853 996 1200, 

of which the tempered representative is the principal scale 
of Meshagah just discussed. Of course, there must have 
been some alterations, but this Damascus scale of Me- 
shagah would represent the scale sufficiently well for all 
purposes. The Highland bagpipe has at present only 
nine notes, written g a' b' c" d" e" f " g" a" (g being on the 
second line of the treble staff"), and also two drones^ or deep 
notes, which are always sounding (being the first and 
second octave below a', that is, on the top line and bottom 
space of the bass staff"). Now it is generally said that g' to 
a' is not quite a tone, and that c" f " are not exactly c" and f " or 
c" sharp and f " sharp of the ordinary rotation, but in each 
case some intermediate sound, the consequence being that 
the bagpipe cannot play with any other instrument in a 
band, and two or more bagpipes can only play in unison. 
The instrument is a kind of oboe, played with a bellows 
instead of the mouth. To determine what this scale really 
was, Mr. C. Keene, the well-known artist of * Punch,' who 
is a performer on the bagpipes, kindly brought his instru- 
ment to my house and played through the scale, while Mr. 
Hipkins determined the pitch by my forks. The follow- 
ing was the result : — 

Observed Scale of the Bagpipe. 

Obs. vib. 395 441 494 537 587. 
Notes g 191 a' 197 b' 144 c" 154 d" 208. 
Cents o 197 341 495. 

Obs. vib. 662 722 790 882. 
Notes e" 150 f" 156 g" 191 a". 
Cents 703 853 1009 1200. 



454 appenfiir C 



" The first line gives the number of vibrations, the second 
line gives the name of the note and the interval in cents 
between them, the third line gives the intervals in cents 
from the lowest a', omitting the low g^, which is repeated in 
the octave as g". 

"This scale took us (A. J. Ellis, and A* J. Hipkins) by 
surprise, and we immediately wrote to Mr. Glen, the great 
bagpipe seller, to make inquiry. He informed us that the 
scale, as r^ards intervals, has never been altered. 'If 
the chanter [the oboe played on] you had is one of 
McDonald's [it was so] or our own, it was no doubt correct 
Our opinion is that if a chanter was made perfect in any 
one scale it would not go well with the drones. Also there 
could not be nearly so much music produced (if you take 
into consideration that it has only nine invariable notes), as 
at present it adapts itself to the keys of A [major], D [major], 
B minor, G major, E minor, and A minor. Of course we do 
not mean that it has all the intervals necessary to form 
scales in all those keys, but that we find it playing tunes in 
one or other of them.' 

" Now the equal temperament of the scale just deduced 
would be clearly o, 200, 350, 500, 700, 850, iioo^ 1200, or 
precisely the normal Damascus lute scale just considered. 
For comparison, I determined the number of vibrations in 
such a scale, and also for Zalzal's, taking the same a', with 
this result : — 

Notes a' b' c" d" e" f g' a". 

(C^ Ke'ene's) } ^^ ^94 537 587 662 722 790 882. 
Damascus vib. 441 495 540 587 661 721 7S6 882. 
Zalzal's vib. 441 496 541 587 661 722 783 882. 

**Mr. Keene's chanter was not perfect (none is), and the 
blowing (which was difficult, as the wind had to be got up 
in the bag for each separate note) could not be absolutely 
relied upon. Clearly c" was a little flat, and g" a little 
sharp, the latter designedly, because the custom is to make 



> 



appenDir C 455 



the interval g a less than 8 : 9, or a whole tone, which is 
an accommodation to the major scale of A, and is evidently 
a modernism " 

The rest does not concern C. Keene ; but there is another 
reference to this trial of the bagpipe scale in the Proceed- 
ings of the Royal Society, No. 234, 1884, *' Tonometrical 
Observations on some existing Non-Harmonic Musical 
Scales," by Alexander J. Ellis, B.A., F.R.S., assisted by 
Alfred J. Hipkins. It is this : — 

" Now between Zalzal's time and this mediaeval altera- 
tion, the Crusaders brought the Syrian bagpipe to Eng- 
land, and, after it had passed out of fashion in England, 
it became the national instrument of the Highlands of 
Scotland. 

" Such an instrument, made by Macdonald of Edinburgh, 
and obligingly lent us by Mr. Charles Keene, the well- 
known artist," etc.. etc. 



i 




i BECKETT. Arthur, Baker Street Studio, 79. 



S A Beckett, Gilbert, 



■rf under "Royal Aca- 



Academy, 
demy." 

"Academy Election, The," Bal- 
lad, 348. 

Agnew, William, 74. 

Almanac Dinner, 73. 

Anatomical Infant, The, 313. 

Anti- Restoration Society, The, 
260, 278, 300. 

Arber, Edward, iSo. 

Artists' Society, The, 34-36, 60. 

Arts Club, The, 80, 81. 



Barnes, T., 364, 415 u., 421 

Beraldi, 106. 

Bewick, 186, 215, 230, 265, 325, 

401. 
Blake, William, 401. 
Bouillabaisse, 86, 416. 
Bracquemond, 106, 442. 
Bradbury, Mr., 74. 
British Artists, The Royal Society 

of, 377- 
Brooks, Shirley, 45, 75. 
" Brother Jacob," 87. 
Buncle, Mr., 144. 
Burnand, F. C, 63, 74, 89. 



Bach Society, The, 68. Calderon, Mr., R.A., 36. 

Bagpipes, The, i2o-r36, 147, 149 "Cambridge Grisette, The," 77. 

it seg.i Dr. Ellis on, 452-455. Cartoon, Pohtical, 48, 50. 

Bagpipe Contest, The, 257. Catch Glee and Canon Club, 
Bain, J., 84. The, 68. 



458 



inttfjc. 



Cats, War against, 6i. 
Cattennole, Charley 35, 37 n. 
^Caudle Lectures^ The," 102-104. 
Cervantes, 171. 
Charpentier, 306. 
Chelsea Studios, 145, 287, 299, 

407. 
Chess, 225. 

•* Chestnuts," 189, 203. 
Chodowiecki, 154, 155, 215, 231, 

298,319. 
Christmas Carols, xoi. 
'Thronique des Arts, La/' 115, 

442. 
Clayton, John, 35, 61, 367 d seq. 
CUpstone Street Studio, 60. 
"Cloister and the Hearth, The," 

64. 
Cohden, The Misses, 308. 
Cooper, Alfred, 70, 138, 262, 264, 

359- 
Coquet, The, 149. 

Corbould, Alfred, 3. 

Corbould, Henry, 3. 

"Comhill Magazme, The," 87. 

Cowell, Professor, his description 
of Keene, 6. 

Crawhall, Joseph, 30, 42, 91, 92, 
129, 154, 184, 192-203, 260, 
267 ; list of his sketches utilized 
by Keene in "Punch," 446- 
452, also see under " Letters." 

Cruikshank, 171, 205. 

Cundall, H. M., 106. 

Cundall, J., 434. 

"Daily Graphic, The," 410, 411, 

412. 
Dalziel, The Brothers, 35. 
Deane, W. W., 36. 



Degas, 442. 

Dobson, Austin, 415 n. 

Doyle, Richard, 44. 

Dry Point, 36* 

Dudley, Robert, 29, t6o, 173^ 

174, i7S> 182-184, 287, 428. 
Dulcken, Dr., 25, 54, 55, 56. 
Du Manner, George, 52, 74, 81^ 

82, ii9n. 
Duncan, £., 36. 
Dunwich, 94, 232, 256, 257, 273^ 

422. 

Edgar, J. a, 77- 

Edwarcb, Edwin, 89, 93, 94, 
i73> 1S2, 211, aho ue under 
•* Letters." 

Edwards, Mrs., 37476, 93, 94, 
loi, 107, 113, 114, I79» 3iSr 
422, also seelUtder^^ljc^^bcxsJ* 

Eliot, Geoige, 87, 198. 

Ellis, Dr^ 132, 133, 452 «r x^. 

" Englishmen in Brittany," 49, 59^ 

Etching, 37, 38, 106, 107. 

"Evan Harrington," 64. 

"Eyebright," 77. 

Facsimile Letter, 97-100. 

Fantin, 344, 345. 

Felixstowe, 348, 351, 391. 

Fine Art Society, The, 169. 

Fitzgerald, Edward, 21, 93, 172, 
t8o, 258, 265, 304, 316, 318, 
326, 327, 334, 341, 422. 

Foster, Birket, 68, 70, 90, 96, 
102, 124, 151, 154, 159 n., 172, 
229, 236, 239, 279, 346, 413. 

Franco- Prussian War, 42. 

Furniss, Harry, 74. 

Garrod, Sir Alfred, 22, 109, 413, 



inDer. 



459 



" German Songs, The Book of," 

25, 54. 
Gillies, 77. 

Gillray, 171. 

"Good Fight, A," 64. 

Golf, 349, 351, 352, 412. 

"Graveur du XIX« Si^cle," 38. 

Green, Charles, 64. 

Guthrie, Mr., 75, 271. 

Haag, Carl, 35. 

Handel Festival, 22. 

Hardy, Hey wood, 285. 

Harral, H., 352, 404, 406, 408, 

411, 412. 
Haydon, B. R., 343. 
Haydon, G. H., 244, 247, 290, 

33^y 349» 361. 
Heming, Joseph, 66, 67 n.,68, 422. 

Hengeler, 393. 

Heseltine, J. P., 30, 56, 117, 136, 

147, 220, 336, 401, 418 n., 422. 
Hipkins, A. J., 133, 215, 382, 397. 
Hoganh, 343. 
Holbein, 343. 
Hollway, J. G., his letter on 

Keene, 434 €t seq. 
Hook, James, R.A., 208. 
Horsley, Charles, 67. 
** How, When, and Where," 89. 
Hunt, Holman, 24, 421, 422, 

423* 424, 438, 439- 

"Illustrated London News, The, '* 

i9» 20, zZy 34» 54- 
Illustrations, 54, 5 5> 432. 
Ingelow, George, 15, 331. 
Ingelow, Miss Jean, 15 ; her 

notes on Keene, 329 et seq. 
Interviewers, Hatred of, 39. 



Ipswich, 2, 5, 6, 163, 392, 425. 
Italian Exhibition, 389. 

Jenkins, J. J., ^d, 

** Jermyn Band," The, 35, 64, 65, 

Jerrold, Douglas, 45, 47 n., 102. 

"Jest Book," 89. 

Jewett, Llewellyn, 29. 

Keene, Charles. Birth, i ; 
parentage, i, 2 ; school days, 
yZ\ first sale of drawings, 10 : 
apprenticed to Messrs. Whym- 
per, 1 1 ; Strand Studio, 16, 60 ; 
works for "Illustrated London 
News," 19, 20, 34, 54; jour- 
nalistic work, 34 ; artistic 
training, 34; member of Artists' 
Society, 34; etchings, 37, 38, 
106, 107 ; connection with 
"Punch," j-<?<f**Punch"; greatest 
English master of Black and 
White, 52, 169; leaves Sirand 
Studio for Clipstone Street, 60 ; 
illustrates for " Once a Week," 
63 ; the musical societies he 
joined, 65-68; as volunteer, 
70, 71; Baker Street Studio, 
79 ; as letter writer, 91 et seq, \ 
his methods, 114-118, 128, 
143, 144, 145 ; drawing direct 
on wood, 140 ; effects of repro- 
duction, 143 ; leaves Baker 
Street for Queen's Road West, 
145 ; everyday life, 146 ; as 
humourist, 168-205 ; as story- 
teller, 51, 172, 173; charade- 
acting, 175; appeals for sug- 
gestions, 179, 180; subjects 
supplied to him, 179, 180, 




aso 



3nbcje. 



Keene, Cfaartea — antiinutd. 
183 ; arnwgemeot with Att- 
drtw Tuer, 185; friendship 
with JoKphCni«hall,i93, 193 ; 

. collector ai curioiitiesi iia- 
216,131,33s; Toiyism, 371, 
308, 309, 403 ; King's Road 
Studio, 187 ; food peculi&ritiea, 
85, 86, 3S8, 389 ; aa illuitra- 
tor, 305, 432; his mother's 
death, 314; painted bjr Sir 
George Reid, 324; bis daocin^ 
322,323; in society, 331.333, 
365 ; bis appreciation of art, 
341 ; his editors, 203, 350, 393 ; 
d«»t 83. 33O1 353; fi"t sjrmp- 
toinsofi)lDess,3S2; illness and 
death, 404-438; his last letter, 

. 428 ; requiem, 429 ; prophetic 
picture, 434.; " Round the 
Tabl^" 436 ; not appreciated 

. by the masses, 440 ; foreign 
. o[Mnion, 442, 443; appearance, 
6, J, 133. "4. 332. 333 J cha- 
racteristic traits, 7, 8, 9, 20, 31, 
22. 37. 39t 41. 5°. 5I' S3. 54, 
fiS- 79, 85. "7. 128, 145, 173- 
176, 211, 136, 271, 321, 340, 
347. 3S3, 3S4. 3^5- 422. 428, 
436.438. 

Keene, Henry Eddowes, 2, 5, 
425, 428. 

Keene, Mary, 2, 7, 9, 10, 59, 
314- 

Keene, Samuel Browne, i, 8, 

Keene, William Charles Lever, i. 

" King James's Wedding," 394. 

Langtry.Mrs., 365. 
Lawson, Cecil, 338. 



I^wsoii, Malcolm, 381. 
lawson, F. Wilfrid, 145, 364, 375^ 

284, 297. 3»o- 
Leech, John, «, 45, 75, 81, 171, 

«79- 
" Lepnds of Number Nip, The," 

87- 

ehnu 

eigh, 

eight 

eight 

75. 

eiten 

fred 
129, 
162 
239. 
267, 
295' 
340, 

3^2: 

385. 

399, 408, 412, 419 ; Dudley, 

Robert, 428; Edwards, Edwin, 

94. 97, no, III, 121, 136; 

Edwards, Mrs., 107, 420 ; 
Harral, H., 416; Heming, 
Joseph, 62 ; Lewis, Arthur, 
35, 64; Millais, Sir J., 423; 
Macdonald, Alexander, 10 1, 
257. 277, 31s. 3i'>. 324, 327- 
347. 357 ! Macdonald, Mrs., 
413, 418, 424, 426; Mercer, 
T. W., 12; "Rosa," 32; 
Stewart, J, M., 212, 262, 306, 
323, 326 ; Tuer, Andrew, 186, 
187, 328, 371. 37S- 



Lehniann, H 


. C, 


75- 




1 


Leigh, 


Percival, 45, 75, 


84. 


4...I 


Leight. 


>n, Sir Frederick 


. 74, 44aJ 


Leighton. J., 


436 


n. 




■ 


Lemon 


. Mark. 21. 


, 4^.44. 47. 50> 


75. 87, 89 


. 183 








Leslie'. 


i Choir, 22, 


65-67 


,aninot«. 


Leiters 


to Barnes 


,T.,4 


'5; 


Ben- 


nett, 


Mrs. 


. 421 


; Coojiei 


, Al- 


fred. 


387 


; Crawhall 


1, Joseph. 


129, 


'47. 


149, 


152. 


'55. 


■S8. 


162, 


164, 


207, 


2rf., 


221, 


iih. 


239. 


251. 


253. 


254, 


259. 


J6s, 


267, 


273. 


279. 


283. 


284. 


aS9. 


295. 


302, 


307. 


317. 


333. 


337. 


340, 


345. 


348. 


357. 


359- 


360. 


3^^ 


3fi3. 


379. 


380, 


382. 


383. 


385. 


3S8, 


390. 


393. 


39^- 


39S. 



Inhtx* 



461 



Lewis, Arthur, 35, 64. 
Liszt, 362. 

" London Society," 107. 
Lucas, Samuel, 75. 
Lucy, Mr., 75. 

Macdonald, Alexander, 179, 239, 
246, 255, 270, 313, 324, 346; 
a/so see under " Letters." 

Macready, 13. 

" Mahogany Tree, The," 45, 75. 

Maple Durham House, 400, 402. 

Marks, Stacy, 78, 180, 234, 248. 

Marshall, C, 28. 

May, Captain Walter, 161. 

Mayhew, Horace, 45, 75. 

Mayhew, R., 13. 

Menzel, 26, 56, 155, 319, 327, 

343, 346, 442. 
Mercer, General, 12. 
Meredith, George, 64, 443. 
Millais, Sir John, 29, 262, 325, 

345, 3^5, 421, 422, 425, 427. 
Milliken, Mr., 74. 

Mills, W. P., 71, 123, 136, 146, 

IZ^y 35^, 422. 

Mole, J. H., 36. 

Moray Minstrels, 22, 65, 429. 

Morris, P., 209. 

Music, 64, 65, 68, 113, 120, 126 
et seq.^ 149 et seg,y 207 et seg., 
214, 217, 255, 257, 311, 377, 

388. 
Musical Societies joined by 

Keene, 65, 67, 68. 

Nelson, Captain, 224. 
Newcastle Arts Association, 105 n, 
278. 



Oberlander, 393. 

Ode to Mrs. Grundy, 411. 

** Once a Week," 63, 64, 78 ; list 

of subjects illustrated by Keene 

for, 445-446. 
** Our People," no, 204, 328. 

Paris Medal, 410. 

Paxton, Sir Joseph, 73, 75. 

" Philological Incident, The," 366. 

Photography and wood-engrav- 
ing, 140. 

Pidgeon, H. C, 36. 

Pipes, 19, 28, 29, 30, 166. 

Pizarro, 442. 

Poynter, Mr., R.A., 36. 

Prophetic Picture, 434. 

"Punch," 40, 41, 44, 47, 48, 63, 
78, 185, 192, 366, 367, 369, 
372-374, 418, 429 ; Keene's 
first picture, 45 ; collaboration 
with Henry Silver, 47 ; first 
signed picture, 48 ; Keene care- 
ful over "legend," 50; first 
original work, 54; fluctuation 
of his early work for, 58; 
" Englishmen in Brittany," 59 ; 
dinner, 72, 73 ; Keene paid by 
piece, 73; his first ** Punch " 
dinner, 75; "Pocket-books," 
104, 105; portraits of "Mn 
Punch," 105; portraits of him^ 
self in "Punch," 49, 119; re- 
production of pictures, 141, 
142 ; "Almanack," 73 d., 202 ; 
cartoons, 48, 50, 278; pre- 
face, 437 ; tribute to Keene, 
440 ; list of Keene's drawings 
from CrawhalFs suggestions, 
446-452. 



/■ 



462 



Jnlifjp. 



Hanson, Farrar, 2, 6, 180. 
Read, Samue], 33. 
JEleade, Charles, 64. 
.Reid, Sir Geoi^ge, 334, 427. 
« Robert," 355. 
Robley, Captain, 179. 
** Robihson Crusoe," 12. 
'' Round about Papers," 304; 
*' Round the Table," 436. 
Rowlandson, 171. 
Royal Academy, The, 14, 345, 

346, 364, a^Sf 378. 

Royal Academy Ballad, The, 40, 

41. 
Royal Academy Dinner, The, 

346, 3^3. 366, 419^ 
Ruskin, 442. 

Sacred Harmonic Society, The, 

68. 
Samboume, Linley, 74. 
Sands, J., 123 ^ i^^., 144, 218, 

223, 226, 260, 394, 396, 399. 
Scott, W. R, 154, 291, 300, 317, 

318. 334. 

'* Sea Kings and Naval Heroes," 

77. 
Shakespeare, 171. 

Shield, Henry, 192. 

Siam, King of, 135. 

" Siege of Sebastopol," 59. 

Silver, Henry, 18-23, 46, 47*54, 

58, 75, 184, 278. 

Sleigh, Mr., 59. 

Smallfield, R, 36. 

Smith, Mary Ann, 428. 

Spanish Exhibition, 408. 

Sparrow, Mary, 2. 

Sparrows' Nest, The, 6. 

Spielmann, M. H., 73. 



Stanley, H. M., 421. 
SteveAson, A., 77, 165, 210, 224, 
244, 246, 251, 252, 266, 276, 

333- 
Stewart, J. M., 24, 26, 56, 59, 

60, 81, 95, 117, 136, 223, 234, 

274, 281. 
Stippled appearance in work, 376. 
Stone, W. H., 133, 218. 
Stothard, 231. 

Strand Studio, 16-19, ^39 ^4* ^^9 

60. 
'* Street Sweeping Machines," 45. 
Studios, Strand, 16; Clipstone 

Street, 60; Baker Street, 79; 

Queen's Road West, 145; 

Kings Road, Chelsea, 287. 
Swain, J., 24, 25, 114, 143. 

Taylor, Tom, 45, 75, 203. 
, Tempera painting, 89, 95. 
Tenniel, John, 35, 38, 44, 59, 

74, 7S»^'. Mi» 278* 439- 
Thackeray, 2, 45, 75, 82, 171, 

304- 
Thomas, W. L., 23, 410, 433. 

Tigbourne Cottage, 96, 147, 237. 

Topham, F. W., 36. 

" Tracks for Tourists," 89. 

Tuer, Andrew, 184-191, 367, 370, 

372, 375- 
Turkish Cadi, A, 339. 

Vaughan, Herbert, 77. 

Verestschagen, 344. 

*' Very much Abroad," 89. 

Volunteers, 49, 70. 

*'Voyage of the Constance, The," 

77- 




3lnBer. 



463 



Walker, Fred, 10, 36. 
Wells, H. T., R.A., 36. 
" Western Madrigal 

The," 68. 
Whistler, J., 178, 343- 
Whymper, Messrs., 10, 

33. 54- 
Wilde, Oscar, 178. 



Williams, The Four, 36. 
Wingfield, J. D., 36, 60. 
Witley, 96, 101, 102, 124, 136, 

Wood Engraving, 10, 140 et seq., 

230. 231.343- 
Wright, Aldis, 17a, 180, 304, 





343M 



.7